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Old 14-05-2018, 08:15   #1
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Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

Do I need it and is it best to get before I go or get in the islands?...

In a few weeks we are leaving for a year and plan to circle the Caribbean sea. Yellow Fever Vaccines are in short supply in the USA and we have a travel doctor apt in a few days. Doc says we have to drive a few hours to get the vaccine and it is about $240pp (4 people)! so nearly $1000 for the family just for the yellow fever. The CDC states something like "yellow fever is required by XXX, if you are traveling from an at risk country". Panama, Columbia and Trinidad are the only at risk places with a sub note "Only a portion of the country is at risk"


So, Do I as a USA citizen really need the vaccine to enter/leave and should I pay the $1000 here in NJ, or is it easier/cheaper to get in the islands like Martinique or Grenada?? my insurance doesn't cover this.
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Old 14-05-2018, 08:35   #2
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Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

I pays to check the regulations of the countries you plan on visiting beforehand. Some countries demand a current yellow fever vaccination (proven with a vaccination card). There has been an outbreak in Brazil and the country is flocking to clinics to get their vaccinations updated. You can probably get the vaccination in one of the Caribbean countries you plan on visiting (and probably for free at a public health clinic) before going to a country that requires it. USD 1,000 for the vaccinations seems very steep. It's the kind of thing most countries offer their citizens for free.
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Old 14-05-2018, 08:43   #3
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Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

When entering Brazil from Venezuela the Brazilian outpost would offer free vaccinations for anyone with out proof of vaccination.

To be charged $240 each is insane!!! That's the US I guess.
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Old 14-05-2018, 09:01   #4
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Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

Get outta the USA and get it then, where you are not getting gouged. Got mine in Guatemala a few years ago, dont recall the exact cost, but it was nominal.

WHO/CDC only recommends if travelling to far eastern areas of Panama.

Ive travelled all over Central America, Caribbean, and a little of South America (Peru & Colombia). Never been asked for my YF vaccination card, but it is stapled in the back of my passport.

Your citizenship doesnt matter, only the countries you visit.

CDC recommendations for Panama Below:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowb...country/panama
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Old 14-05-2018, 10:08   #5
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Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

In March 2018 I was refused entry into Honduras until I produced my proof of yellow fever vaccination. This was because my last port of call was Providencia, which is a Colombian territory.
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Old 14-05-2018, 10:15   #6
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Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

We circled the entire Caribbean over the last three years, and no one ever asked about vaccinations. We did get them and have a card, but did not pay nearly that much three years ago! In Mexico they checked our temperatures, that was about it. I went from Honduras to Providencia, and eventually to Panama, so opposite direction from fguptill
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Old 14-05-2018, 10:18   #7
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Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

FWIW, never heard of another cruiser getting yellow fever. ciguatera, chikungunya, and stomach parasites, were the most common, mostly in south and Central America, nothing over in the Eastern Caribbean.
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Old 14-05-2018, 10:24   #8
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Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

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Originally Posted by Sea Life View Post
We circled the entire Caribbean over the last three years, and no one ever asked about vaccinations. We did get them and have a card, but did not pay nearly that much three years ago! In Mexico they checked our temperatures, that was about it. I went from Honduras to Providencia, and eventually to Panama, so opposite direction from fguptill
Things can change quicky (like it did here in Brazil), so it pays to check with the health authorities of the countries you plan on visiting ahead of time.

At any rate, I'd just get a (probably free) yellow fever vaccination once you get out of the US. I think they're good for 10 years and it could save your life.
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Old 14-05-2018, 10:33   #9
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Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

I have been to 62 countries. Before leaving the U.S. we got a bunch of vaccinations and the yellow card. Not one of those countries ever asked about the vaccinations.
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Old 14-05-2018, 10:40   #10
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Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

You will find its not a problem entering a country with yellow fever, BUT as noted above entering another country when leaving a country with active or a recent outbreak of yellow fever.....the US included

Try to fly into Florida from Brazil without a current vaccination card........you can be refused entry......

Get it in Cuba I updated mine there for about $5........
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Old 14-05-2018, 10:45   #11
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Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

Check out this WHO document.

http://www.who.int/ith/ITH_country_list.pdf

I was surprised to see the number of countries that require a valid yellow fever vaccination for entry. As yellow fever has outbreaks, the list of countries changes all the time. On this list, Brazil doesn't require one (which I'm pretty sure they do now), but Belize does.

It's something so simple to get, so why not do it when you leave the States? I've always had mine administered for free in state health clinics.
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Old 14-05-2018, 10:48   #12
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Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

We have never been asked to produce our Yellow Fever certificates, but had them. Ours expired while we were in Portobelo, Panama and we got a booster shot at the public health clinic. The charge was less than $1.00 each. If you are going off the beaten track in Panama or Columbia you might also want to get rabies shots. Lots of bats carry rabies. My wife did get a bat bite in the Pacific coastal Panama, had to get the rabies series from the Panamanian Public Health Dept., but it was during Mardigras week and very difficult to arrange.
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Old 14-05-2018, 11:01   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Life View Post
FWIW, never heard of another cruiser getting yellow fever. ciguatera, chikungunya, and stomach parasites, were the most common, mostly in south and Central America, nothing over in the Eastern Caribbean.
Got in 2015 chikungunya in Grenada. Severe hurting on upper torso joints for about 2 months at night in bed. Couldn't sleep very well.
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Old 14-05-2018, 12:01   #14
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Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

Situation varies with each country. Brazil was giving them out for free, they're having too many infections. And Panama gives the shots cheap in clinics--but they're limited in quantity. Check ahead, if you can get the shots at your destination they may be $200 instead of $1000 for all four, but you may have to get on line at dawn and deal with local paperwork (local doc, local rx, etc.) which may kill a day of your time.

A friend of mine just went through this, prepping for a Brazil trip. Insurance and doctor's office couldn't agree on who covered what. Doctor said "No, we don't stock that, you'd have to pay in advance and them..." Eventually he found a clinic but they couldn't figure out the insurance really covered it. He spent hours, many hours, trying to just get a simple shot that his insurer claimed they would pay for--except, none of the providers knew about it. And the insurer didn't know the providers didn't carry it. (As if yellow fever vaccine is regularly needed in the northeast US, duh?)
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Old 14-05-2018, 12:05   #15
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Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination Needed to Circle Caribbean Sea? USA Resident

If you are close to Canada, mine just cost me 40 CAD
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