Vaccinations for Cuba
Do you need vaccinations to visit Cuba?
Cuba has become an increasingly popular holiday destination in recent years, celebrated around the world for its colourful colonial buildings, beautiful beaches, and old school charm.
If you are travelling to Cuba in the next few months you should be aware that there are certain health risks associated with visiting this island nation; in order to enjoy your time here, you’ll want to make sure you are properly protected.
The health risks associated with travel to Cuba include: the Zika virus, dengue fever, and sun damage. Depending upon what kinds of activities you’ll be participating in, and where in Cuba you will travel to, you may also require some vaccinations.
To find out which travel vaccines you might need for your trip to Cuba, read on and visit our Vaccine Checker.
Get up to date on routine immunisations
Though you may not require any specific vaccinations for travel to Cuba, it is important that you are up to date on all your routine British immunisations. These are the vaccinations that you receive when you are an infant and during your school years.
If you haven’t received a full course of these immunisations, your doctor will likely recommend that you get up to date on the relevant vaccines.
What injections do I need for Cuba?
To find out which vaccinations may be appropriate for your trip to Cuba, speak to your GP or a doctor at a travel clinic. You can also enter the details of your trip into our Vaccine Checker.
No specific injections are required for travel to Cuba, however you should consider getting vaccinated against the following diseases depending on your individual risks and the results given from our Vaccination checker:
The cholera vaccine is administered as a drink, and not an injection. You will need to take two doses of the vaccine, one to six weeks apart, to be fully protected.
Cholera is a bacterial infection that causes severe diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps. It is spread in the faeces of an infected person, and is usually found in areas with poor sanitation, where food and water has become contaminated.
Hepatitis A & typhoid vaccine
The hepatitis A & typhoid vaccine can be administered as a single injection and offers protection against both diseases.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection that attacks and the liver, and typhoid is a bacterial infection that can cause internal bleeding; both are spread through the faeces of an infected person. These diseases are more common in areas with poor sanitation, as food and water can become contaminated.
The hepatitis A & typhoid vaccine is usually free on the NHS.
Hepatitis B vaccine/booster
The hepatitis B vaccine is administered as three injections over a number of months or the course of the month, depending on your personal recommendation from a healthcare professional.
If you have received the vaccine in the past you may be eligible for a booster injection, to top up your immunity.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection spread in blood and bodily fluids that attacks the liver. Though most people will fight off the disease and recover fully, some will develop chronic hepatitis. People with chronic hepatitis are at risk of serious complications such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.
You can be at risk of hepatitis B if you have unprotected sex, share any injecting equipment, or get a tattoo or body piercing while in Cuba.
The hepatitis B vaccine is not usually free on the NHS and must be obtained privately.
Rabies vaccine booster
The rabies vaccine is administered as three injections over the course of a month. If you have received the vaccine in the past you may be eligible for a booster injection.
Rabies is a serious viral infection which is nearly always fatal without vaccination or emergency treatment. It is spread in the saliva of infected animals (dogs, bats, cats and monkeys can carry the disease); if you are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal you will need emergency treatment, even if you have received the vaccine. Having the vaccine makes the emergency treatment much easier.
The rabies vaccine is not usually free on the NHS.
If you have received all of your routine immunisations, you will only require a booster of the tetanus vaccine. This is usually administered to travellers as part of the diphtheria, polio & tetanus booster (which provides protection against all three diseases).
Tetanus is a type of bacteria that can enter the body through open wounds. It causes painful muscle stiffness and spasms particularly in your neck muscles making it difficult to breathe. Tetanus is often found in animal manure or soil.
The diphtheria, polio & tetanus booster is usually free on the NHS.
Receiving injections for Cuba
You can receive your vaccinations for Cuba from a number of different services. Because the hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid and cholera vaccines are usually available on the NHS you may be able to obtain them for free from your GP. To get the rabies and hepatitis B vaccines you will normally have to use a private travel service, like MASTA vaccination clinics.