Travelers planning to visit South Korea should prepare adequately for their trip by researching all areas of travel preparation. Aspects such as whether a South Korea online visa is necessary and entry requirements to the country are important. However, health requirements and Korea health information are also just as vital. While not all requirements for vaccinations may be mandatory, it is worth considering some of the types of diseases that might affect foreign visitors and the necessary travel vaccines for South Korea.
Despite the fact that many parts of South Korea are surrounded by the ocean, the country’s climate, particularly the south, has various sub-tropical temperatures and climates and many parts of South Korea are subject to a warm continental climate. Arguably, one of the best travel seasons for visiting South Korea is in the month of September or October as traveling during this time of year can mean avoiding cold weather or too much heat, and therefore also means avoiding mosquitoes.
There are some diseases in South Korea of which travelers should be wary. Such diseases prevailing in the country are malaria or Japanese encephalitis.
Read the following information to understand more about the different vaccinations that may be required for your trip to South Korea. Please note that it may be more appropriate to visit your doctor to ask for information relevant to your nationality.
Recommended Vaccinations for South Korea
The following are recommended vaccinations for Korea for all travelers:
- Hepatitis A: There is a risk of hepatitis A in Korea. This is mainly caught through contaminated food and water. It is recommended that you take the vaccine for hepatitis A for South Korea no matter which part of the country you are planning to visit.
- Typhoid: There is a chance of catching typhoid in South Korea through contaminated food or drink. This is especially the case for those who will be venturing out to rural areas.
Optional Vaccines for South Korea
Other vaccinations needed for South Korea will depend on where you plan on going and what you intend to do during your stay:
- Malaria: There is malaria in South Korea but the level of risk and your need for a vaccine really depends on which part of the country you are visiting. The time of year with the highest risk is between the months of March and December in rural areas in northern parts of the country such as Incheon, Kangwon-do, and Kyônggi-do Provinces, including the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
- Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is caught through sexual intercourse, from blood transfusions and from getting a tattoo or piercing. This vaccine is not mandatory to visit the country.
- Rabies: Most visitors to South Korea will not be at very high risk of rabies, although it can be found in animals there such as dogs and bats. You will be at greater risk if you are intending to take part in outdoor activities in remote areas or will be working with animals. Children are at a slightly higher risk of rabies as they are more likely than adults to play with animals that they do not know and are more likely to receive bites to the head and neck.
- Japanese Encephalitis: You should only need a vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis if you are planning to stay in South Korea for a longer period of time (a month or more), particularly if you will spend a lot of time outdoors in rural areas.
South Korea has one of the best healthcare systems in the entire world, beating the US, Canada and EU countries on many benchmarks. Provided that you take the vaccines that are relevant for the length of your stay and the types of activity you plan to take part in, you should be fine and have an enjoyable stay in this verdant land with its millennia of history and culture.
Also be sure to give yourself at least a week to process your South Korea visa.