Yellow Fever - Kenya /Tanzania

Old Oct 25th, 2005, 08:31 PM
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Yellow Fever - Kenya /Tanzania

I'm hoping that someone can help solve a dilemma. We'll be traveling US/Tanzania 12 day safari/Kenya 1 overnight/Seychelles/Kenya/US. My agent tells me that I don't need to get a Yellow Fever innoculation but the WHO site states that Tanzania and Kenya are yellow fever endemic countrys. The site also states that Tanzania, Kenya and the Seychelles do require a vacination if coming from endemic countrys. Am I the only person confused by this stuff?
I'd be most appreciative if anyone can help me sort this out?
Thanks ahead;
cybor is offline  
Old Oct 25th, 2005, 11:24 PM
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I have never been checked for yellow fever in the literally hundreds of border crossings in Africa. But, every once in awhile, from what I am told, someone at an airport or border gets a bug and checks. The shot is good for ten years, and you just make sure you get the little medical foldout signed and stamped correctly as is required. Then its a nonissue.
luangwablondes is offline  
Old Oct 25th, 2005, 11:57 PM
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We were in Kenya and Tanzania in June and had been told by our rep that because we were crossing from one country into the other we would have to have yellow fever certificates. If you don't cross, you don't have to have it, he said.
wjsonl is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2005, 12:10 AM
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Certainly no need for it in Kenya... but why not get the shot anyway and get the cetificate. I did and just carry it with my passport.

I would take more advice from WHO than your agent, frankly.
Pumbavu is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2005, 12:15 AM
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Yellow Fever Vaccination is MORE useful for those involved in relief/missionary work... and not people going from tented luxury camp to tented luxury camp.

But get it!
Stay safe.
Pumbavu is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2005, 02:12 AM
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According to the website, Kenya, Tanzania and Seychelles all require a YF certificate if entering from an endemic country. Kenya and Tanzania are both endemic countries. It is also true, from what I have heard and experienced, that you are unlikely to be asked to show your certificate in those countries, but it is possible you will. So everything in the above posts is true.

Your choice, then, is to get the vaccination and not have to worry, or not get it and take a chance that you won't be asked to produce the certificate. You will be spending a lot of money for your trip, so it seems prudent to protect your investment by getting the shot and taking the certificate with you.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2005, 05:48 AM
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Get the shots. They are recommended and you do need a certificate. My step mum worked there for a while and on several occasions forgot her certificate flying back and forth. As a result, I think she had 4 shots at the airport in 18 months because they wouldn't let her in!

Do not take the chance with your health!!
luckykat is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2005, 06:30 AM
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cybor -

As of June 2004, the Yellow Fever inoculation was no longer required for travel to Kenya or Tanzania, especially for the areas most visitors travel. And coming from the US (not an endemic country) wasn't required.

However, since you are going onto the Seychelles, YOU WILL REQUIRE YELLOW FEVER INOCULATION. The Seychelles are an island country and they are sticklers, even for visitors who have a layover on a plane that lands in East Africa.

We experienced this ourselves back in '98 when YF was required only for those crossing by land at Namanga from Kenya to Tanzania (surprisingly though if we had just landed by air in TNZ - no YF required). That aside, we had the YF and glad we did, as when we arrived in SEZ, everyone, even those arriving on the plane (via NBO and never deplaning) had to show their YF certificates.

So you need this inoculation. It's not inexpensive, rather can run $100+ but good for 10-years and will cover you for future trips to other destinations where it just might be required.

Your best bet for where to obtain (as family docs don't stock this) is a Travel Clinic affiliated with a major hospital. Or check with the Public Health Dept in your city... you may save a few dollars. Both have to provide you with the "yellow" card properly completed.

Hope this helps.

Old Oct 26th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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Thanks everyone,
I truly do wonder why I am paying big bucks to use a safari agent. My safari and boat charter (albeit,thru a 2nd party) agents both said no I do not need yellow fever innoculations. Being that I've come to realize over the years that sometimes people are a bit uninformed when giving key information, I checked it out for myself. Can you imagine how upsetting it would be to be turned away or forced as someone said, to have an innoculation in Nairobi or similar - Talk about a Midnight Express moment.
I will speak to my physician as I think he can order this for me. Have any of you had any kind of reaction to the shot?
Most greatful to all who advised;

cybor is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2005, 07:35 AM
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No reaction to YF or any of my other inocs over the years. But, depending on individual sensitivity, some folks have a sore arm. Or, if getting other inocs at the same time... a sorer (is that a word) arm.

However, always discuss and check with your physician in consideration of your own health history.
Old Oct 26th, 2005, 03:28 PM
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yellow fever is a live vaccine. I know my doctors have advised against it because I have a compromised immune system and it can have complications. However, if you are healthy, I would get it so that, if you ever do need it, you don't have to worry about it. There are some places I would have liked to go but I do restrict myself to non yellow fever areas.
mpkp is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2005, 05:28 PM
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Thanks MP,Sandi and others,
I as well, have some health issues and was hoping that I also didn't need the innoculation. I'll see my doc. next week to discuss - I will tell you this, I will be going to Africa and the Seychelles one way or another. I find it so annoying that my agents misinformed me or rather that they didn't seem to care. If I do have to be injected, I'd rather do it close to home and with my own docs. rather than in some far off airport by some airport employee ( no offense please to you airport workers) just in case I have some kind of reaction and start glowing in the dark.
cybor is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2005, 06:55 PM
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If there's a valid medical reason why you can't get a YF vaccination, I believe that you can get an exemption certificate and that this will be accepted in lieu of proof of inoculation (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). Ask your doctor about this as I'm unsure exactly what the procedure is.
Patty is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2005, 03:33 AM
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My recommendation is to get the innoculation unless you are really medically at risk. There are much fewer side-effects than other vaccines.
Or if you don't get it, get an exemption certificate.
The colonials trained the world well in bureaucracy but not in common sense. Sooner or later, you'll hit an immigration official that will demand a certificate and you will be denied entry at great inconvenience. Yellow fever is the only disease that officials seem to get really hardline about.
safariman is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2005, 03:55 AM
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Sorry I don't know how to put a link into the forum, so you will have to c&p, but towards the bottom of this page

it explains the procedures for getting a waiver letter.

Note that countries don't have to admit you without the YF vaccination and you arrive only with a waiver letter. I don't know whether the Seychelles fall into this category, though.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2005, 06:14 AM
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Thanks for the last bits of very useful info. I went to the rec. site and was very pleased to see that some people may get a waiver as you suggested. I feel much better knowing that at least now I have a few options for my doc. and myself to consider - I can't thank you enough for pointing me in the right direction. I did also notice that there are actually a few African countries who can deny you entrance without your cert. of innoculation when coming straight from the US - that was a surprise as US is not considered an endemic country.
cybor is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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Countries DO NOT have to let you in just because your doctor says you can't take yellow fever vaccine. This happened back in the 80's to a traveling companion on a bus into Bolivia. The customs agent would not let him cross - he eventually got in but only after he paid a fairly large bribe.
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