Yellow fever vaccination?

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116 Posts
Joined May 2010
My travel clinic said that Uruguay might not allow entry after being in Argentina because there is a risk of yellow fever transmission in Argentina. We are doing a Valparaiso - Buenos Aires cruise, with Montevideo after an earlier stop in Argentina. Even though there is no risk of yellow fever where we will be, they can deny entry...

so, should we get a yellow fever vaccine just to be sure, or is this not a concern with people on cruise ships?
Clevedon, N.Somerset, UK
800 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
I would say your travel clinic is being over cautious. I've never heard of this being the case between Uruguay and Argentina. However, your cruise documents/information should clarify this for you. There is normally a warning on there somewhere telling you that you could be denied entry if you don't have the required vaccination certificate.

Have a great time and don't worry.
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88,503 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
If they deny entry than your cruise ship will have to go somewhere else because there would be lots of people who would not have had the yellow fever shot. We sailed this itinerary a few months ago. We did need a yellow fever shot because of other countries but not because we sailed from Argentina to Uruguay.

Boston MA
6,106 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
We got the shots because we were planning on visiting Iguazu Falls, which is in an infected area. We didn't need them to enter the area in that there was no official check of papers before we boarded the plane but it was the prudent thing to do.

We also got them because we had heard that China was very strict about entry to those who had visited infected countries (even if you were hundreds of miles from the infected areas when you visited) and we had heard stories here on CC of people who had been denied entry into China because of lack of the vaccination along with travel to infected countries prior to entering--and we had a China trip in our near future.

There are a number of threads here about getting or not getting the yellow fever inoculation but I found the arguments proposed by a frequent traveller and frequent poster to this forum (Greatam) to be the most compelling reason for getting the shot.

Perhaps it is better to get it and not need it than to find out at the border that you do need it.
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88,503 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
I have read all of the posts. All I know is I have done three World Cruises including stops in China and South America and Africa. If the countries required the Yellow Fever vaccinations we were told up front so that people could get them and so people could bring their yellow card with them. We didn't run into problems with last minute changes.Maybe that is because we were arriving to places such as China by cruise ship. Yes, they requird other things such as the need to have our temparature taken on the ship a day before arrival. But no changes on the Yellow Fever.

Geelong - Australia
2,970 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
All wise travellers to South America get a Yellow Fever vaccination as a minimum irrespective of whether one thinks countries require it or not .

Some South American countries require it , some require it if you arrive via other Sth American countries. Brazil is especially vigilant in this regard .

Further many countries require Yellow Fever vaccination when you arrive back home from South America.

So just get a YF vaccination, one shot and lasts 10 years .

Other vaccinations wise travellers get if travelling to South America ; Hepaptitis A/B, and Thypoid .
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88,503 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
The question was are you required to take the Yellow Fever Vaccination.

I am a wise traveler and I have actually taken it two times. My wife one time. I have traveled extensively on business and now on cruises having taken three full world cruises over the past four years. I also know about being cautious.

However, every vaccination has risks to it and I think if it is optional than the traveler needs to have a discussion with their physician to walk through where they are traveling to, what their medical situation is, what the benefits are and what the risks are. In the end, they need to make an informed decision which is all I am saying.

My only point is to seek the guidance of medical experts when making decisions that involve those vaccinations that are not required. And my other point is to make sure that you know whether or not it is required.

Texas panhandle
670 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
We cruised Brazil and Argentina in 2008 and did not get the shot.

In 2009 we took the Cape Horn cruise and because we were in Iguazu Falls and other areas of Argentina before getting on the ship we decided it best to take the shot. That being said, no one ever asked to see our shot records.
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Phoenix Arizona
240 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
YF vaccination is a subcutaneous vaccination that does not go past the fatty layer below the skin. It is not intramuscular and should not be terribly painful.
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Art (greyhound101)
88,503 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by greyhound101
YF vaccination is a subcutaneous vaccination that does not go past the fatty layer below the skin. It is not intramuscular and should not be terribly painful.
I am not really following this. The issue is not the pain from the vaccination. The issue is that if the vaccination is not required is for someone who still thinks they might want to take it to speak with their physician and to also be sure they understand the potential risks. Even though the risks are quite low except for the very young and the very old there are nevertheless risks.

1,842 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
This is not a shot I'd want to get on a "just-in-case" basis.

I've had a reaction to the Yellow Fever shot all 3 times I've taken it. (Fever, chills, aches, etc) The first reaction was a surprise because I've never had a reaction to any other vaccination. (And thanks to Uncle Sam and a few mildly sadistic Navy corpsmen, I've been vaccinated ALOT.) If I ever need to take the Yellow Fever shot again (and I fervently hope it's not for a long, long time), I intend to make sure that there's nothing pressing on my calendar for the next few days.
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Originally posted by polySeraph
This is not a shot I'd want to get on a "just-in-case" basis.

I've had a reaction to the Yellow Fever shot all 3 times I've taken it. (Fever, chills, aches, etc) The first reaction was a surprise because I've never had a reaction to any other vaccination. (And thanks to Uncle Sam and a few mildly sadistic Navy corpsmen, I've been vaccinated ALOT.) If I ever need to take the Yellow Fever shot again (and I fervently hope it's not for a long, long time), I intend to make sure that there's nothing pressing on my calendar for the next few days.
In that case, you could get a "waiver" also good for 10 years. As for actual protection, you probably have some residual protection from your 3 previous shots.
Phoenix Arizona
240 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
I am traveling to the Amazon River Basin in Ecuador in June of 2011, the lodge we are staying at informed us we have to have yellow fever immunization or a waiver from a certified travel physician or nurse in order to stay at the lodge.
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Art (greyhound101)
1,025 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
As testified to above, some people, elders in particular, do have an unpleasant reaction to the YF shot so it is not something to be done on a casual "just in case" basis. There is also the cost which I believe exceeds $100.
Firstly, you should ascertain whether the cruiseline requires a YF 'cert" to board. If so, you have an answer on whether you need to get the shot or the medical certificate excusing you from having it.
If you intend to travel on any pre/post or during-the-cruise excursion that will take you into an endemic zone, you may want to get a YF for personal health reasons even if one is not required by the cruiseline or by any govenments to cross borders while on your cruise itinerary. You may want to consult your doctor in such a case.

If you examine the Centers for Disease Control web site
you will see that Uruguay requires you to have a YF shot (or the YF cert) if you are arriving from unspecified at risk countries. Brasil is such an at risk country. So is Argentina. A year ago I cruised from Brasil to Chile via Uruguay and we were not required by Uruguay custom officials to have the YF cert. That may have been an accommodation to the local merchants or cruiseline. Go figure.

If memory serves me right, the CDC site used to specify exactly how much time had to pass from when you had been in an at risk country to the time you sought entry to a country requiring the YF cert on that basis. It no longer so specifies. You may want to check the linked yellowpage in ftnt 2 of the above CDC link for a country by country requirement and updated general info on the disease.
When Greatam reads this thread s/he will probably advise not to put much faith in the CDC advice because middle and far eastern countries will very likely require arrivals to have the YF cert if you have traveled to Brasil, Argentina and other countries where there are endemic zones regardless of how much time has passed since you were in the at risk country. Of course, it will be of no avail that you never entered the endemic zones in those countres because your passport doesn't specify where you traveled inside the country. Accordingly, you may need to take into consdideration your future travel plans in deciding whether to get a YF shot now on the theory that you will eventually need it anyway. At least if you will be using the same passport showing you entered an at risk country.
Have a good cruise.