Borneo Vaccinations - Operation Wallacea

Expedition Information

Borneo Vaccinations

Operation Wallacea are not able to give official advice on inoculations. Some people are not able to have certain jabs, so blanket generalisations cannot be made. You must consult your GP, travel clinic or doctor for personal advice.

It is also worth checking the NaTHNaC web site for up to date advice. The NaTHNaC page for Borneo can be found here. The NHS also offers advice on their fit for travel website (found here for Borneo) although this maintains the assumption that you are up to date with inoculations as recommended for life in Britain. (link)

To allow sufficient time for all the necessary immunisations it is recommended that you consult your Doctor or travel clinic three months prior to departure.

We suggest that you are up-to-date with the following inoculations though:

  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A
  • Diphtheria

Rabies is necessary for anyone doing a bat dissertation project, without this vaccination you will not be able to handle the animals. We also recommend that volunteers doing any of the trapping/processing mammal or herpetofauna dissertation projects where mammals are often a by catch, consult their physician regarding this vaccination. For other forest based volunteers it is recommended, though not essential.

Japanese B Encephalitis: Although we work in an area where Japanese B Encephalitis exists, our presence in high risk zones is very limited. We also work in the dry season thus reducing the risk further, so do not demand that volunteers are vaccinated against this.

Malaria is present in Borneo so most healthcare professionals will recommended you take prophylactics. Current NHS and NaTHNaC guidelines differ on their advice as to which prophylactic is most effective due to the appearance of a Chloroquine resistant strain of Malaria in certain areas. Consult your doctor as to their recommendations. Most malarial prophylactics require you start taking them before travel. No drug offers complete protection from contracting malaria. The only sure way of preventing diseases transmitted through insect bites (particularly mosquitoes and ticks) is to prevent being bitten. Use precautions including insect repellent; cover exposed skin, use of mosquito nets etc. Please bear in mind that if you are taking the prophylaxis Larium, you are not allowed to dive.

Yellow Fever Certificate

While there is no Yellow Fever present in Borneo currently, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required to enter the country for those travelling from countries with a risk of of yellow fever transmission. The current NaTHNaC list can be found here. The US, UK and Canada are not classed as having a risk of yellow fever transmission.


Cholera is sometimes recommended by GP’s if you are going to be in areas with poor sanitation and untreated water. However, students on our expeditions will always have access to filtered drinking water and good sanitary facilities so we do not consider a cholera vaccination to be essential.

Sexual Health

HIV/Aids and Hepatitis B are present in some form in each country that Operation Wallacea operates in, but there is absolutely no reason why this should present a problem for anybody on an Opwall expedition providing you always act responsibly and practice safe sex.

There is a Hepatitis B vaccine available, as with all other vaccines follow the advice given by your medical professional regarding receiving it.

The effectiveness of the contraceptive pill is compromised in the instance of sickness, diarrhea and whilst taking antibiotics so please bring alternative methods of contraception, even if you are travelling with your partner.