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Dominican Republic

Risk / Health Info for Dominican Republic

What vaccinations do I need for the Dominican Republic?

In addition to your regular shots, other vaccinations are recommended for the Dominican Republic. In particular, you can protect yourself against hepatitis A, typhoid and cholera, which are nasty gastrointestinal illnesses that can be contracted from contaminated food and water. Consult your travel adviser at least six weeks before you leave to make sure your shots are up to date.

You can also reduce the risk of hepatitis B, which is spread by contact with infected blood or other body fluids. Children, frequent visitors, and people who plan to stay in the Dominican Republic for a long time or work in healthcare or dentistry should get vaccinated. It is spread by dirty needles, for example used for tattooing or piercing or in an unhygienic medical or cosmetic procedure, and by unprotected sex.

Animals in the Dominican Republic can carry rabiesso make sure your shot is up to date, especially if will be around dogs or other animals. Children are always at risk from animal bites and should be vaccinated. Always get urgent medical advice about a bite or scratch from an animal in Dominican Republic, even if you have been vaccinated.

Are there hospitals in Dominican Republic?

Private medical facilities are good in Dominican Republic but public services are limited. You may end up overpaying if you go private. Travel insurance is strongly recommended for people going to Dominican Republic, so check with your provincial or territorial health authority before you go.

The emergency number in Dominican Republic is 911 in Santa Domingo. Outside Santa Domingo, call the tourist police on 1 809 200 3500.

Protect your health in the Dominican Republic

You can be exposed to many mosquito-borne illnesses in the Dominican Republic: malaria, chikungunya, dengue fever and Zika. Take precautions against getting bitten: always use a reliable insect repellent, wear pre-treated clothing that cover as much skin as possible, and sleep under a bed net or in air-conditioned accommodation. Consult our travel advisers on the best pills to take to prevent malaria.

Stick to commercially bottled water when you are in Dominican Republic to avoid “travellers’ diarrhea” and other gastrointestinal illnesses. Avoid putting ice in your drink, and don’t eat food if you can’t peel it, cook it or boil it.

Altitude in Dominican Republic
Parts of Dominican Republic are higher than 2,400m, and travellers planning to spend time at a high altitude should take steps to protect themselves against the potentially life-threatening acute mountain sickness. Your healthcare provider can help with this.
Chikungunya virus in Dominican Republic
Cases of Chikungunya virus have been reported in Dominican Republic. It is spread by day-biting mosquitoes and you can guard against infection by covering up and using mosquito repellents. Infection results in joint pains, fever, rash and headache. It clears up after a few days, but some patients are left with swollen and painful joints for weeks or even years afterwards.
Dengue fever in Dominican Republic
There have been cases of the mosquito-borne virus dengue fever in Dominican Republic. Dengue fever is also known as breakbone fever because of the severe bone, joint and muscular pains it causes, in addition to flu-like fever and headache. There is no vaccine for dengue fever. Avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellents (50% DEET) and by wearing protective clothing. Sleeping with mosquito nets is also recommended.
Malaria in Dominican Republic
Malaria prophylaxis will be required for some parts of Dominican Republic at certain times of year. There is no malaria vaccine, but there are anti-malaria drugs that should be taken before, during and after travelling to certain at-risk countries. Speak with your healthcare provider six weeks before your trip, as not all prophylaxis regimes are appropriate for all regions and all individuals.
Schistosomiasis in Dominican Republic
The schistosomiasis parasite enters humans through the skin during contact with fresh water. To prevent infection, avoid swimming or paddling in lakes and streams in Dominican Republic. This condition is also known as bilharzia.
Zika in Dominican Republic
Global Affairs Canada has issued a warning about the risk of contracting Zika in Dominican Republic. Zika is a viral disease spread by mosquitoes, and infection during pregnancy has been linked to birth defects. Women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant should take advice before travelling to Dominican Republic. Zika symptoms include rash, itch, mild fever, headache, red eyes, muscle and joint pains. Avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellents (50% DEET) and by wearing protective clothing. Mosquito nets and air conditioning should be used when sleeping.

Recommended Vaccines for Dominican Republic

Vaccine NameCourse
Hepatitis A2 Doses
Hepatitis A and B combined (adult)3 Doses
Hepatitis A and B combined (paediatric)2 Doses
Hepatitis A and typhoid (combined)1 Dose
Hepatitis A (paediatric)1 Dose
Hepatitis B3 Doses
Hepatitis B (paediatric)3 Doses
Malaria prophylaxis
Typhoid1 Dose
Typhoid (oral)1 Dose
This is a general list of travel vaccinations and immunisations for Dominican Republic. Specific vaccines can only be determined after appointment with our travel nurse.

About Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti. With a tropical climate and varied terrain, the Dominican Republic enjoys a range of weather conditions.

top Tips for travelling to Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a delight for adventure sports enthusiasts and beach lovers alike, and has many luxury resorts. Check out the amber museum in Puerto Plata. Many Dominicans speak English well although the official language is Spanish.