Travellers who have a high risk of exposure to cholera are recommended to receive cholera vaccine
Routine cholera vaccination of travellers is not recommended. The risk to travellers is very low, despite cholera being endemic in some countries that Australians visit. Ensuring access to safe food and water is far more important than vaccination to prevent cholera.
Cholera vaccination is recommended for travellers who have a high risk of exposure to cholera. These include humanitarian aid workers deployed to regions where there is endemic cholera or an outbreak of cholera.
Cholera vaccination is recommended for people travelling to areas where cholera exists who have a higher risk of acquiring diarrhoeal disease because of a medical condition. An example is people with achlorhydria.
Cholera vaccination is also recommended for people travelling to areas where cholera exists who have a higher risk of severe or complicated diarrhoeal disease. These include people with:
- poorly controlled or complicated diabetes
- inflammatory bowel disease
- HIV or other immunocompromising conditions
- significant cardiovascular disease
No countries require vaccination against cholera before entry.
Either the inactivated cholera vaccine, Dukarol, or the live cholera vaccine, Vaxchora, can be used. There is no preference for either vaccine in immunocompetent people. People who are immunocompromised, or people receiving immunosuppressive drugs or treatments should use the oral inactivated cholera vaccine. See also Contraindications and precautions.
Children aged 2–6 years are recommended to receive either 1 dose of live attenuated cholera vaccine, or 3 doses of inactivated cholera vaccine.
Adults and children aged >6 years are recommended to receive either 1 dose of live attenuated cholera vaccine, or 2 doses of inactivated cholera vaccine.
The interval between each inactivated dose is 1–6 weeks. If the previous dose was more than 6 weeks ago, restart the primary course.
If there is an ongoing risk of cholera, in a person whose primary vaccination was with inactivated cholera vaccine, a single booster dose of inactivated cholera vaccine is recommended:
- 6 months after finishing the primary course for children aged 2-6 years
- 6 months–2 years after finishing the primary course for adults and children >6 years
If the interval between primary immunisation and the booster dose is greater than these specified intervals, the primary course should be repeated.
See also Vaccination for international travellers.