World Travel Guide > Guides > Caribbean > Jamaica

Jamaica Health Care and Vaccinations

Title Special precautions
Diphtheria Yes
Yellow Fever No*
Typhoid Yes
Rabies No**
Malaria No
Tetanus Yes
Hepatitis A Yes

* A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age coming from infected areas. 

** A rabies vaccine is recommended for travellers engaging in outdoor and other activities that put them at risk for bat bites, as well as people who will be working with or around bats.


Health Care

Medical care standards vary dramatically across the country's public and private hospitals. Away from major cities, medical centres are often poorly funded and under-resourced. Health insurance is strongly recommended since medical treatment can be expensive. Major hotels often keep a doctor and dentist on 24-hour call. Cash payment is often required, sometimes in advance.

Food and Drink

Mains water in key tourist areas is normally chlorinated and is considered safe to drink. However, elsewhere water quality remains poor and should be avoided. Bottled water is widely available. Make sure food is thoroughly cooked, avoid purchasing food from street vendors and check that dairy products have been pasteurized before consumption.

Other Risks

There is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and precautions should be undertaken to avoid exposure. Other high risk activities include tattooing and body piercing; avoiding these will also reduce the risk of other blood-borne viruses including hepatitis B and C.

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