Adventures in Yellow Fever Shots

Jun 11th, 2004, 01:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 171
Adventures in Yellow Fever Shots

After much ado, showing up at our appointment to get our shots, and being informed they don't have the vaccine (after talking to us for 25 minutes), having to get two different doctors, one pediatric and one adult, etc. we are finally vaccinated.

Question: Both my husband and I got actual yellow fever cards (which are yellow and specifically for proof of yellow fever vaccinations. At the pediatric office they just stamped a prescription note. They said they didn't know about any kind of yellow card. She said the stamp with the number was all the proof we needed. Will this suffice?

By the way, I specifically asked them if we would get the yellow card and they said yes, but later said they thought I just meant proof. All I have read about in posts is the yellow card. Anyone else have a similar experience or know if the stamped presciption note is enough?
Cronen is offline  
Jun 11th, 2004, 07:10 PM
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Cronen - To be honest I'm unfamiliar with how this process should be handled as regards inoculations for children.

But common sense would be that Yellow Fever specifically requires a YELLOW CARD regardless of ones age. If you receive the inoculation, you get the card. If all three of you were at the same place, regardless that you were given these inoculations by an adult physician (for you & your husband) and a pediatric physician (for your daughter) you didn't all get individual YELLOW CARDs!

I can't understand why, if they could stamp a prescription pad, they couldn't stamp a Yellow Card, it doesn't cost them anything. The cards are provided to them, one card per one inoculation and you paid a lot of money for "that card". Besides this inoculation is good for 10-years, and I guarantee that piece of script paper won't last 10-months, whereas, the card will.

Also, besides the stamp indicating when the Yellow Fever was given, there is place on the Card to mark other inoculations - such at Tetanus, Hep-A, Polio, etc and include what malaria meds are taken and when. Without a card, where are you expected to keep a record of these/any inoculations for your daughter? On that paper script? I don't think so. This doesn't make sense.

On Monday, I would contact the Kenyan or Tanzanian Embassies (Washington DC) or the Tanzanian Tourist office in NYC on E42nd St. and ask them what your daughter needs as proof of the Yellow Fever inoculation. Bye the way, have you inquired of your tour operator about this? What do they say? Or don't they know?

Certainly wouldn't want to find myself in the position of entering these countries or on the border and find my child couldn't enter, though I doubt that this would happen - but let's just imagine the worst.

You can't see me, but I'm steaming and I can tell you that if it were me, I'd still be sitting at that office until they gave me the card; or I'd be back there first thing Monday morning insisting on it.

I feel so terrible that you've had to go thru these machinations. Best you keep a diary of this happenings because this will be good information for others. Do let us know what answer you get from the embassy/ies and final disposition.
Jun 11th, 2004, 08:22 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 171
Sandi: We went to two different doctors. We got the yellow cards at a Infectious Disease Clinic but they would not give the shot to my nine year off to the one place on the CDC list near us that did pediatric shots. Like I said, I even clarified (as they had to order the vaccine and it was obvious they didn't give the shot to often) that they did indeed have the yellow card. I was assured that they had some proof, yes a card. But when we went, in reality they only had the stamp.They have asked me (and I must say they were very nice) to contact our adult vaccine doctor who gave us the shots to send them a yellow card (they said they never had cards sent to them and no one has asked), or if the doctor isn't comfortable sending them a card, could my doctor fill the card out for them. I have a feeling the infectious disease doc won't want to fill out my daughter's card as they never even saw her, but maybe they'll send a card to the pediatric office. Is this crazy? I should have probably gone to the hospital in the city that offered the shots, but didn't want to travel in just for an injection. My husband is fit to be tied, and is concerned we now have different documentation showing we got vaccinated. He is having images of our daughter being left at the Tanzanian border. I know my tour operator mentioned the yellow card, so I'm hoping we can somehow get one sent, but time is ticking away. I had called the embassy prior and they said at the time they were not requiring the vaccination, but I later heard that they still asked for it in Zanzibar, so better safe than sorry. Beside, as you point out, it wasn't cheap and it is very likely we'll be elsewhere in the next 10 years that does require the shot (Galapagos Islands for example). We just got the shot for her late today, so Monday I will be all over this. Thanks for your reply... I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, no one can agree on malaria medications and two doctors never even heard on malarone. It is an adventure.
Cronen is offline  
Jun 12th, 2004, 12:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Sounds like the pediatric clinic just isn't set up for travellers. I bet if you obtained a blank yellow card and took/ sent it to them, they would stamp it. Another approach: call someone else at the pediatric clinic! Sometimes, it just takes a more experienced or more helpful person to resolve this.

I think contacting the Kenyan/ Tanzanian authorities is a good idea, too. You definitely don't want to arrive at the border and have problems.
tashak is offline  
Jun 12th, 2004, 03:57 AM
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Cronon - sorry about the misunderstanding on part that you were at the same facility for the shots, but using different doctors.

I would do the following - Inquire of the facility that provided your inocs and cards, if they could give you a card for use for the pediatrician at the other facility - do show them the stamped script you have, so they know you're not trying to pull something on them. Bring this 3rd card to the pediatrician and have them stamp the card (I wouldn't reply on these people to send anything to one another, so you have to do more legwork), thank them, leave and remember never to pass their portals again.

As to the script for Malarone - you're telling me that doctors who specialize in infectious deseases don't know about (heard of) this malaria med? Duh! Were they suggestion something else, like Lariam? or doxycyline? Some infectious deseases department!!!

You should be able to get the script from your family doctor and your daughter's pediatrian. If they aren't familiar with the Malarone, doctors have either the desksize PDR or receive monthly booklets issued with new meds that provides all the info doctors require about a particular med. But as a backup may I suggest you print out the page from the www/ site that contains all the Malaria meds information that can be used in East Africa. I believe the Malarone is he first one listed. Have some ammunition for them.

I've always gotten my script from my personal physician with no problem. She only asks how may days I'll be in-country, then adds 9-pills (2 for the 2-days prior entering infected area; 7 to continue taking once you return home).

It would be an adveture if you were dealing with intelligent people, but this group appear to be idiots! May future patients be protected from these fools. Let us know what happens, and do try to have a nice weekend (it's suppose to be beautiful both days) and not think about this till Monday.
Jun 15th, 2004, 05:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 171
I called the infectious disease clinic we went to and they said they would mail us a blank card to have the pediatric office fill out.
I'm hoping the clinic is more efficient at mailing than giving the shots.

I really thought we had so much time, but we're leaving on the 25th. I finally got the malaria prescription for my daughter and will pick it up tomorrow. It had to be ordered. What I've everything earlier than you think necessary. Another thing I learned...research your vaccinations and medicines. We ask the doctors for cipro (antibiotic) and amoxicillin for my daughter. They didn't offer it., but all agreed once we asked for it, that it was a good idea. After reading posts and researching we realized it would be far better to have an anitbiotic on hand.

However, I believe we are all set medically and ready to go!
Cronen is offline  
Jun 16th, 2004, 04:31 AM
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Cronen - glad to hear that all the pieces are coming together. I am also glad you mentioned that these things cannot be put off till the last minute - that one should take care of all necessary items - visas, inocs, prescriptions - sooner than later.

I've also learned over the years, whether for my own general health (I'm in fine health), that one has to take charge of their own care, if only to have questions to ask your physician and getting answers that make sense when you hear them. If not, ask again. The perfect example is the Cipro, which my doctor prescribed for my first very big trip, way away from the US - I didn't even have to ask (but then again, I wasn't even aware of this med way back then. Lucky for me that she's a very good and efficient doc, and on top of everything.

I'm sure that from now till departure, all will go well, and once you're in East Africa, these incidents will be so far behind you, they'll only take up a sentence in your travel journal.

If you have time before departing, post to let us know you're on your way. Can't wait to read you trip report on your return.

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