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Yellow Fever Vaccination

Northern New Jersey
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39 posts
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Yellow Fever Vaccination

Hello - I know there have been a ton of posts about the yellow fever vaccination, but none of them recent, so I'm going to post. I'm coming from the U.S. traveling to Northern Tanzania (safari circuit) and to Zanzibar. I just visited the travel doctor and got all my required medicines, prescriptions, etc., except I didn't get the Yellow Fever vaccine. 1. The doctor said technically I don't need it, since I'm not coming from an endemic country, but since the plane is stopping in Nairobi (even though it's only for 40 minutes, and I won't even get off the plane), she has heard of officials asking for proof of it and suggested I should get it just for that reason alone. 2. The Tanzanian Embassy website clearly states that coming from the U.S., I don't need it -http://digitalsquared.com/tzesite1/faqs/ So, my question is, has anyone ever been denied entry or had to get the shot in the airport, even if it was not required? My concern is the symptoms you can get from the shot -> i.e. from fever to organ failure and death.

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination

Dead people can't talk...so you are hearing from someone who has taken the shot and is doing ok.

Back to your topic...Technically, you don't need to take the shot and they do let you go if you tell them that you did not stopover in Kenya (which is your case). But, if asked at the airport (remember you are in Africa), you will have to take the shot right at the airport in TZ.

Why don't you just take it here? The YF shot/cert has 10 years validity and I am sure you might visit Africa once again and might need to show the cert in the future. It's a good investment for your own well being.

Northern New Jersey
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2. Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination

I'm just concerned about getting vaccinations I don't need, especially if they have a chance of getting me sick, or worse....Does anyone know what's involved in getting an exemption? I understand the need for the Typhoid vaccine, Hep B, Malaria pills, etc. which I got. And am not being selfish, I wouldn't want to bring any diseases to the African people if I had one, either, but it seems silly to just get a potentially life threatening vaccine because the airport staff doesn't really know what the rules are.

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination

Several things to point out, if I may.

If you search here for yellow fever, the default result is by 'relevance'.,If you sort by ' date' you will seen plent of posts.

To be legitimately exempt from the shot, you need to either be alleric to components of it...like egg, or have a pre existing illness that would be contraindicsted...like immune disease. Age may also allow an exemption as there is theoreticallyanrisk of increased reactions in thoseover60.

The shot is good for more than ten years, but the certificateisn't. Go figure.

Many of us have had it with no more than perhaps a day of feeling sore and achy.

What happens if you are grounded in Nairobi for aday. Another fireperhaps, or weather? Then you wille expected to have the certificateansyou willno longer be in transit.

Last, in the next ten years is there a chance thst youmight visit a place that does require it? Namely numerous Central and south american countries? If so, then just get it.

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination

Tanzanian officials will know that your plane stopped in Kenya, so there's a chance you will be asked for your YF certificate, even though those transiting for less than 12 hours are supposed go be exempt. I've read some accounts of passengers in such situations explaining, if asked for their certs, that they transited for less than 12 hrs and being allowed through. I wouldn't rely on that, however, and suggest getting the YF jab to allow yourself to put the matter to rest. I think most will tell you they suffered no more than a sore injection site, if that, after the jab, but best to get your doctor's input as well.

Nashville, Tennessee
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5. Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination

Short answer- get the shot.

You got typhoid and it isn't needed and more dangerous than yellow fever vac.

Many reasons listed here many times including the past couple of months. Plenty of recent posts.... Get the shot

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination

It will pay to get the shot before you go , we came from Australia in August , via Nairobi.

The first person to greet us when we arrived in Tanzania was a guy asking for our yellow fever certificates .

As we had the shots at home there was no drama , wouldn't like to be given it at the airport !,

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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12,484 posts
8 reviews
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7. Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination

If you are stopping in Nairobi, there will most probably be a health officer at the passport control when you arrive, and he will ask you for your proof of vaccination certificate. I have been on these flights from the US also, and have seen people led away for a vaccination on the spot. Where would you prefer to get this, in the airport under unhygienic conditions or in NJ? The choice is obvious.

The thing which most people, including physicians here, don't seem to understand is who is being protected. The Tanzania government and their Ministry of Health is not all that concerned about your health; but they are concerned about their own citizens health, as they should be (and I wish they were more concerned). They are trying to make certain that this disease is not brought into the country, and one way of doing that is by making certain that those arriving from an endemic area are vaccinated.

Get the vaccination and then you will not worry. There are many other vaccinations which you have probably taken without regard to anything that were more dangerous than this one.

Stanley, Falkland...
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8. Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination


If you don't want to get the jab, then don't. It's not compulsory.

Please report back on how you get on at the airport.


Alameda, California
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44 posts
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9. Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination

We were advised that the yellow fever card is required for travel to and from Zanzibar. We did not get the vaccination but have the cards which show the contraindication due to age. I'd love to hear from anyone for whom this worked.

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4,490 posts
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10. Re: Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yet another doctor willing to circumvent the international agreement on yellow fever vacicnations. I'm sure the cards will get you by - but age is not a contraindication for the vaccine. The odds of adverse side effects are higher for older folks - but are still very very low. That's not a contraindication as agreed to by the international agreement.