Yellow Fever & Central America...
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Nov 18, 2012 1:23 AM Last Post By: Jirijirimo
Nov 15, 2012 10:37 PM
Yellow Fever & Central America...Hi all,
Just wondering if I could clarify something;
I'm traveling to Panama tomorrow from the USA (as part of a USA/Central American trip - I'm from the UK originally). This is my first time in the Americas and I've never been to Africa or an area that considered by the WHO to be endemic for Yellow Fever.
So my question is; if I wish to travel by bus to Costa Rica, Nic, Guatemala and Mexico after, before returning to the USA, will I be required to provide a Yellow Fever certificate? If so, then I plan to get my vaccination in Panama and wait a few weeks before leaving to Costa Rica. I was just slightly confused because Panama hasn't seen a case of YF since 1974, but obviously want to avoid any problems on the boarder.
Nov 16, 2012 12:17 AM
Nov 16, 2012 7:22 AM
2You can check th official requirements of various countries here/ "Officially required" may or may not be the same as "we always ask to see it."
The US has no immunization requirements for visitors, so you will not be asked on return.
Nov 17, 2012 4:23 AM
3Here is where I have found it is needed. Taca/Avianca/Copa and all others always ask for it (WHO yellow fever immunization card) at check in when I return to Costa Rica (where I live) from South America. There is a cut off age when it is required, maybe 60 or 65 and then it is not needed. I am not sure why. Perhaps nutrax could enlighten and elaborate.
Nov 17, 2012 8:10 AM
4Usually, the age cutoff is 1 year, that is, the shot should not be given to infants. I have not seen an official higher age limit.
People over age 60 who have never before been immunized against YF run a higher risk of a serious adverse reaction to the vaccine. The risk is not huge; about 5 in every 100,000 people vaccinated have these problems. For people over 60, it's 8 in every 100,000. Risk goes up as yo get older than that. The CDC says "If travel is unavoidable, the decision to vaccinate travelers aged ≥60 years needs to weigh the risks and benefits of the vaccination in the context of their destination-specific risk for exposure to YFV."
That basically means " if it's only for legal reasons and the person is very unlikely to run into the virus, an exemption letter might be the safer alternative." However, if the person has been vaccinated before & is just getting a new shot for the certificate, the risk is lower, so maybe they might as well get the shot.
Nov 17, 2012 6:06 PM
Nov 18, 2012 1:20 AM
Nov 18, 2012 1:23 AM
7Not needed. Read Costa Rica requirements in Nutrax's link.
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