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Laura82

yellow fever shot

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I am traveling to Kenya in August. I will be in the Mara, Amboseli and also up near Mt Kenya at the Porini camps. I will also be in Lamu for a few days. I know it isn't a MUST but should I have a yellow fever shot? It is over a $100 for the shot plus $100 for a consult at a dr. here. Don't want to shell out that kind of money if I don't need to. What is the chances of contracting the disease?

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Unfortunately that really has to be your call @@Laura82.

Even though the risk of actually catching YF is small, bear in mind that many countries will demand a Yellow fever shot when you arrive from Kenya

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@Laura82

 

I won’t comment on the risk in Kenya as I’m no expert so I don’t really know for sure what it is but I do know that there is no specific treatment for yellow fever and the virus can prove fatal. $200 might seem like a lot of money but in the unlikely event that you have the misfortune to find yourself in a hospital bed with yellow fever I suspect you’d quickly change your mind about whether $200 is a lot of money or not. It is also worth bearing in mind that the vaccine does cover you for 10yrs so if you’re a regular traveller it would be worth having it.

 

Yellow fever is spread by day flying mosquitoes of the genus Aedes, if you are travelling from a country where there is yellow fever or have recently visited such a country and are going to any country that has populations of Aedes mosquitoes they will demand that you have a yellow fever certificate. Some countries will even demand that you have the certificate regardless of where you’re coming from or have been.

 

While the vaccination covers you for 10yrs it’s quite possible that it actually last considerably longer even a lifetime however the certificate does not so when the 10yrs are up you have to have a booster jab to get a new certificate.

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So it's not mandatory in the US that you need a YF shot for travel to Kenya? ....... If it is mandatory, they usually check if you have had the shot or not (the YF booklet).

 

It is valid for 10 years and you can travel to a bunch of other countries over the next 10 years which requires the YF shot ....... Africa or beyond.

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The WHO has fairly comprehensive information on YF worldwide which you might find useful. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs100/en/

 

I've had the vaccination several times and whilst we pay no where near $200 US here in the UK (our National Health Service means we pay the equivalent of around $70 US) having just read on the above link the cost of vaccination in 2013 is estimated to be 82 cents. It would appear someone somewhere is making a scandalous amount of profit on it. All that said, weve had YF certificates checked several times travelling in Africa and once had one stolen whilst in Uganda. Several expensive phone calls later and a confidently faked signature on an official looking email from my Doctor (sent to the local tour operator) we managed to get past the health worker at Dar es Salaam airport who was checking eveyones certificates (after having held our breath getting into Rwanda because one of us didn't have a cert). So although its a lot of money, it pales against the cost of a whole trip and against either being refused entry or being forced to get a shot at the airport.

 

I have had friends travel direct from the UK to Kenya without certificates several times without issue, but if I though I might cross a border or even if my plane just sets down in another country I'd carry a certificate.

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In 2007 we travelled to SA for our first safari (and ONLY one we thought!) ; we got every shot known to man because the CDC recommended it.. Hep /A/B;

Tdap (what is that as I look at my records?) Typhoid, Polio, influenza, , menactra..(what?) think all were $300. ( I am reading this off my card they gave me; half of it I have no idea) I imagine one is for Yellow Fever as back then we had to show it in Zambia. We passed...thank goodness..

 

SO WORTH IT

 

We are now going onto our 6th county in Sept. I have never seen a mosquito or been sick in Africa, but you know..I am glad I have these shots. Just makes you feel a bit comfortable --JUST IN CASE. I guess it depends on where you go and where you stay. I've never been sick from food or water; but it could happen. I think of it as I do travel insurance....part of the deal.

 

I got food poisoning last Sept. either from Zurich - Swiss Air lounge- Or United air biz class and am happy I had drugs with me and shots in me! Three days of MISERY.. go for the shots/meds..you never know what might happen. or your sensitivity towards unfamiliar foods/water/drinks.

 

And then have a great time!

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Thank you everyone! You have convinced me I will get this shot! Hopefully I will get to go on another safari to another country and the certificate will come in handy!

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Posted (edited)

I don't want to try to be a mind changer but if a vaccination is not required, I would not get it. There are risks with any vaccine, though minor. One reason many countries require the yellow fever card (and vaccine) is to prevent the disease being brought INTO the country. It is not primarily for the benefit of the visitor TO the country. That's why you don't need the vaccine coming from places that don't have the disease, like the US.

 

You look very youthful in your avatar and I am assuming you are not the one in black and white stripes. But for planning ahead, the risks associated with the yellow fever shot increase for 60 year olds, more so for 65 year olds, and yet another jump in risk at 70. All risks are minimal, but they are there. So you may want to time your yellow fever shots, which are given no closer than 10 years apart, so that your last one is obtained before the jump in risk.

 

I'm not one of these anti-shot, anti-medication people. I always take my malarial prophylactics and I even got a rabies vaccine when visiting a region known to have lots of rabid dogs running around. I've had 2 yellow fever shots.

 

Here's an interesting tidbit from WHO.

 

Important! In May 2013, the World Health Organization announced that a Yellow Fever booster dose is no longer needed after 10 years if you’ve already been vaccinated, since it affords life-long protection. However, you may still be required to show proof of a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate at the border – the vaccine must be administered at least 10 days before travel and no longer than 10 years ago. Please check this page for any updates or changes to this recommendation.

 

I hope countries start to heed this latest announcement so proof of only 1 vaccine is needed.

 

Have a great trip.

Edited by Atravelynn
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Here's an interesting tidbit from WHO.

 

Important! In May 2013, the World Health Organization announced that a Yellow Fever booster dose is no longer needed after 10 years if you’ve already been vaccinated, since it affords life-long protection. However, you may still be required to show proof of a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate at the border – the vaccine must be administered at least 10 days before travel and no longer than 10 years ago. Please check this page for any updates or changes to this recommendation.

 

I hope countries start to heed this latest announcement so proof of only 1 vaccine is needed.

 

Have a great trip.

When I took my YF vaccine last year, we were told that protection is now considered lifelong. And the doctor quoted the WHO statement that Lynn mentioned. For me, I would rather pay to be safe than sorry.

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Here's an interesting tidbit from WHO.

 

Important! In May 2013, the World Health Organization announced that a Yellow Fever booster dose is no longer needed after 10 years if you’ve already been vaccinated, since it affords life-long protection. However, you may still be required to show proof of a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate at the border – the vaccine must be administered at least 10 days before travel and no longer than 10 years ago. Please check this page for any updates or changes to this recommendation.

 

I hope countries start to heed this latest announcement so proof of only 1 vaccine is needed.

 

Have a great trip.

When I took my YF vaccine last year, we were told that protection is now considered lifelong. And the doctor quoted the WHO statement that Lynn mentioned. For me, I would rather pay to be safe than sorry.

 

Even though WHO states YF is for life and the travel clinics recognize it is for life, will the bureaucracy update their practices so that the border agents no longer require YF card within the last 10 years? Wonder how long that will take for medical science to filter down to the passport stamping process. Not long, I hope.

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I don't know if you have already gotten the shot, and don't know exactly where you live, but it could be a lot cheaper to get it at a Safeway (if you are in Pennsylvania near the Maryland border) or Costco - it's the same vaccine, half the cost...

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YF at Safeway or Costco? I would never have guessed.

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We get all of our Africa travel meds at Costco as the prices are less than anywhere else.

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Posted (edited)

From my experience, you may not need a YF shot to get into the vacation country, but you may need to show proof of vaccination when you leave back to a YF-free country.

And it may give you peace of mind every time you see a mozzie ;)

Edited by Anthilltiger

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YELLOW FEVER TO BECOME A ONCE IN A LIFETIME JAB

 

image231.png?w=570

The 67th World Health Organization Assembly has apparently resolved to make significant changes to the administration and requirements of Yellow Fever inoculations. At present the vaccination has to be repeated every 10 years but studies conducted have revealed that a once in a lifetime jab will be enough to ensure lasting protection against the fever, which periodically registers outbreaks in Africa and subsequently requires travelers to be vaccinated to avoid the risk of infection.

Countries like the Seychelles for instance require a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate from every passenger arriving from the mainland’s areas on the Yellow Fever map, even if only connecting for instance in Nairobi for an onward flight to Mahe. Even African countries have periodically ‘thrown the book’ at travelers requiring them to produce Yellow Fever vaccination certificates, leading to protests by neighbouring countries about making travel unnecessarily difficult, one such example being the imposition of such requirements last year by South Africa on visitors from for instance Zambia and Zimbabwe or as in the past seen by Tanzania for travelers from Kenya and Uganda.

The change in regulations will no doubt be warmly welcomed by travelers, more so as of late there has been a significant shortage of vaccination doses, complicating travel when the 10 year period was about to expire. It is advisable however to check prior to travel about the current requirements for a Yellow Fever vaccination card in particular during the coming weeks as the implementation of the new rules may well take time to percolate down to the health desks at airports and land borders.

 

source: http://wolfganghthome.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/who-lifts-yellow-fever-vaccination-term-limit/

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But bear in mind, that the regulations of the country you want to visit are relevant. Those regulations often stil require a certificate that is younger than 10 years, according to the old WHO recommendations. Check first, whether an older certificate will suffice!

f

(by the way, the lifelong protection of the YF shot is known for years. it took a long time to be accepted by the WHO)

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I am trying to figure out what to do about YF vaccine right now myself. Going to Kenya for first time in February (from the U.S.) and just realized I'm not required to have it from here and only going to Kenya and back. Have never had one. Had an appointment to have a vaccine tomorrow at the local travel clinic. Was trying to avoid seeing a dr. again as I just saw one there for my Zambia trip (was there in October). At that time, told dr. about upcoming second trip to Kenya and could she counsel me about both at once. So she gave me enough Malarone pills to cover both trips and advised I could just see a nurse when I was back from Zambia and wanted the YF vaccine. I didn't want to get the YF vaccine that day in case I had any side effects - I wanted to at least get my Zambia trip in before worrying about side effects since I didn't need the YF for Zambia for sure. Anyway - now am having sore throat/glands and thought I should check w/travel clinic as to whether that's any contraindication to getting the vaccine tomorrow. My kids both had similar symptoms last week so I'm sure it's just a virus that they had. At first the guy put me on hold and then came back and said if I don't have a fever it's fine but the dr I meet with tomorrow could discuss with me and make final call. I told him no, not meeting with a dr. tomorrow, I already discussed it with her and she said I could just see nurse. Then he asks when I last travelled and I told him I got back from Zambia two weeks ago yesterday. On hold again, then he comes back and says they want me to see my primary care dr. before getting the shot just to make sure I'm healthy since I was just in Africa. I said "It's not ebola! There's no ebola in Zambia!" (They actually screened me for it before I came home by the way). He said Oh, I know, but they just want to make sure you're healthy before you get the vaccine since you were travelling. Well my dr can't see me til Monday - by then I'll probably be well anyway! I need to get the YF vaccine at least 6 weeks before I go to Kenya, which would be Dec. 28. This is all such a hassle, I'm trying to decide whether to even get it. But then I think about the potential for side effects going up after 60 and I am 52 and do intend to keep traveling to Africa.

By the way, @@Atravelynn , I read that the thing about side effects going up after 60 is only when you're having the vaccine for the first time after 60, not later boosters. (though maybe those will no longer be required soon from what I read on this thread).

 

I don't know if I have question here, or if I'm just venting my frustration. But if anyone has any thoughts I'll take 'em! :)

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@@SafariChick for what it's worth if it were me I'd have the YF vaccine - that cuts out the worry of possible changes to countries' regulations that can be unpredictable.

 

I've had I think 3 YF vaccines the most recent when over 60 and never had any sort of reaction.

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@@SafariChick my doc got quite angry with me because I had skipped the YF vaccine for a few years. I had it last year before going to Kenya & Tanzania with no ill effects.

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I recently had YF vaccine for the first time - it was a mission to track down in UK (London) - apparently there was a shortage, whether or not that is still the case, I don't know.

 

The problem with these things is often that countries entry requirements don't necessarily fit with best medical advice. YF may have become a one-off shot from a medical perspective, but there are still countries demanding evidence of a shot within the last 3 or 5 years. Similarly, for a trip to Equatorial Guinea, I needed evidence of Polio inoculation administered within the previous 12 months.

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Consider a "what if" - Flying to Tanzania from the UK via Nairobi, change of plane only in Nairobi therefore YF NOT needed. Unfortunately flight into Nairobi delayed so connecting flight missed. Airline "does the right thing" & offers you an off-airport hotel room until they can get you on the next flight. The moment you step out of the airport you are then arriving in Tanzania from Kenya and DO need YF vaccination - or do you fancy spending many many (many) hours in JKIA?

 

For @@Laura82 's trip there shouldn't be an issue but what if bad weather causes a diversion?

 

Having heard my sisters hell story of having a syringe & rusty needle waved at her whilst transiting through Uganda once because she hadn't got a YF certificate, I wouldn't take the chance

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I would rather get the YF shot (it's valid for 10 years and never know when you need it) ...... The airport was still under renovation as of October with very limited infrastructure at the moment.

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@@AfricIan oh my gosh that is crazy about your sister! I do want to get the shot, so that's not really the issue for me, it's more that the stupid clinic is making me see my primary care dr first because I have a sore throat and told them and now my primary care can't see me til Monday etc etc. But I guess I will just jump through the hoops or if I just feel better before Monday maybe they'll let me just schedule it again without seeing the primary care.

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Hi @@SafariChick, experience has told me that in cases like this if a medic says jump the correct answer is "how high" - it's invariably a waste of time arguing, even when you know you're right! You're probably correct in that your children have kindly donated their bugs to you - most are very generous in that regard! Hopefully you'll feel better in a few days & all will be sorted out.

 

My sisters tale was from about 20 years ago and she was a little naive - it was pretty clear after the event that a folded $20 note would have resolved the "problem" of not having a certificate but it's very easy for me to say that now, I wasn't the one in the firing line!

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.....

My sisters tale was from about 20 years ago and she was a little naive - it was pretty clear after the event that a folded $20 note would have resolved the "problem" of not having a certificate but it's very easy for me to say that now, I wasn't the one in the firing line!

I have heard of others having a very similar experience to your sister in various African countries - no YF certificate, '...come with us into a back room', wave rusty needle, pay $$'s.

 

As you say, it is just a ruse to extract money from ill-prepared visitors.

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