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Immunizations for cruise through the Canal


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We leave for a Panama Canal cruise in a month. I have been working with my local health department on what we need. We are now complete for our Hepatitis A & B. They have suggested that we also get the oral pill for typhoid. In the records they looked up on the CDC in none of the countries we are visiting do they recommend a yellow fever vaccination. When I looked at our final documents from Royal, it says to make sure we are up to date with any required immunizations or vaccines (including but not limited to certification of yellow fever vaccination).  I spoke with the local health department today and they rechecked the information from CDC, and nothing indicates that we need a yellow fever vaccination. It is not going to be easy to get one in this area. They have given me a number to check at a larger health department to see if they have any. But they are puzzled as to why our cruise line is requiring it and the CDC does not. Has anyone else dealt with traveling through the canal and being asked for proof of yellow fever vaccination?

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Few vaccinations are required, but many are often recommended. Check CDCs website for recommendations for the countries and the areas in those countries you will be visiting. The CDC tracks malaria by area and when I visit anywhere near those areas, I get the malaria pills.  Better safe than sorry.

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  • I have been to Panama several times since the 1980s....both by ship and extended land visits....no shots, no pills, and no problems.
  • Panama has done a wonderful job of disease control in the years since the Canal was built (1914).
  • I am old enough now that a yellow fever vaccination would be hazardous to my health.
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Just did a re-positioning cruise last May from Miami to Los Angeles. Stopped in most of those ports and never

had any shots (other than in a glass) 😎.


Now, granted it was on the NCL Epic. Yet, no immunization shots were required.


Have a fun cruise.....

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5 hours ago, SargassoPirate said:

The CDC tracks malaria by area and when I visit anywhere near those areas, I get the malaria pills.  Better safe than sorry.


Having managing to have malaria, you REALLY don't want to.


If I go to a country that has malaria anywhere, I take the prophylaxis. 

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Just finished a full transit of the Canal in late January, 2019.  No yellow fever or unusual vaccinations mentioned or required.  Visited each of the countries you mentioned with no issues and did not read or hear about any while there.  Enjoy your trip!

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I called our HMO's travel advisory nurse, and she wanted me to re-do my tetanus shot, get a typhoid shot, and sent me a yellow fever waiver certificate.  My husband's phone consultation said he didn't need anything because his tetanus was up-to-date.  He asked for the yellow fever certificate.


The certificate basically says you don't reside in a YF danger zone, and therefore do not require the shot, and are not a carrier.


Go figure........

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On 2/14/2019 at 5:31 AM, Astromaid said:

Weldon, We are going to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Guatemala, Costa Rica, through the Canal, Colon, and Cartegena. 


No shots needed for these, unless you are spending evenings in the jungle in Panama or Costa Rica.  Most important shot you need for cruising is flu.

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You do not need any vaccinations for your cruise.  It is wise to keep your routine vaccines, a category to which both Hep-A and Hep-B now belong, up to date .  Yellow fever is a situation which confuses many people.  You are not traveling to locales where you are at risk of contacting Yellow Fever but those locales want to be sure that you have not been someplace else where YF is endemic.  It is because they do not want to run the risk of someone bringing YF in.

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