Yellow Fever shots?

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May 17th, 2004, 01:36 PM
  #1
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Yellow Fever shots?

I'm getting much pressure from my local travel clinic to get a yellow fever shot (at $120USD btw). They suggest that I won't be able to get into SA from Botswana or Zambia (Vic Falls) without one. Anyone have recent experience?
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May 17th, 2004, 05:28 PM
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Yellow Fever is not required for entry into these countries if you are arriving from the U.S., Canada or Western Europe. But you should check the cdc site:

www.cdc.gov

Select the entry requirements for South Africa, Botswana and Zambia for yourself. If, however, you have been in a Yellow Fever country, immediately prior to entering these three countries you may require a Yellow Fever inoculation. Otherwise, save the $120, as it's not required.
 
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May 17th, 2004, 07:31 PM
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There are other countries that require it up to a year after your visit to the "hot zone".

Recently coming back from Kenya, and stopping for few days in Singapore, I was required to show the cert after the immigration official saw my Kenya visa. He informed me that I would not have been able to enter the country had I not had the cert. There are few other countries, mostly Asian, that also require the cert.

US and it's close neighbors do not require it upon return.

To me, it just made sense. The shot is good for 10 years, and from now on I don't have to worry about going to any country. I do travel, and I just on't want to be surprised with entry denial, next year or year after, trying to get into a country that reqires it. I guess I could always get a new passport, but that also costs, and mine is good for about 2 more years, not because of expiraion date (2009), but because I'm running out of pages.
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May 18th, 2004, 04:09 AM
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AAFrequentFlyer - You DO NOT have to get a new passport because you're running out of pages. You can have the passport agency add another set of pages, at NO CHARGE. Contact them for the form, complete form, send with passport and voila! You'll have additional pages till expiration.

When this current passport is due for renewal, remember to request the "larger" (number pages), rather than the standard passport. There is no additional charge for this - rather it's for people like you (and me, and others) who travel as often or for business or whatever.

Contact the passport office and take care of it as soon as.
 
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May 18th, 2004, 06:13 AM
  #5
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Thanks to those who've responded. I have checked the CDC site and Vic Falls and Botswana are not on the Yellow Fever map. It does say that South Africa requires proof of vacination if arriving from an endemic area.

We start our trip in South Africa (several days in Cape Town) then go to Vic Falls for two days then to two camps in Botswana (Tubu Tree and Linyanti Tented Camp), then back to South Africa. Anyone done a similar circuit? If so what were your border crossing paperwork issues (if any)?

I don't want to spend almost $500USD (there are four of us) given the risk benefit that I can see right now.
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May 18th, 2004, 08:12 AM
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Yes, I had something similar. Before I continued on to Asia (see above), I also stopped in SA before and after Kenya, and yes, they looked at the cert upon return.
But, if the 2 areas are not on the list, you should be fine.

Hi sandi! Nothing new around here. I'm getting ready for Portugal EURO2004. Thet should be a blast. What's your next move?

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May 18th, 2004, 08:35 AM
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Favor - In response to your question, namely:

>>start our trip in South Africa (several days in Cape Town) then go to Vic Falls for two days then to two camps in Botswana (Tubu Tree and Linyanti Tented Camp), then back to South Africa. Anyone done a similar circuit? If so what were your border crossing paperwork issues (if any)<<

In Vic Falls upon arrival you will have to obtain your Visa, payable in USD @$35 (I believe*), but since from VFA you are going to Botswana and if returning via VFA to SA, you'll have to get a "double-entry" Visa for an additional $15. If you are returning from Botswana direct to SA, then you do not require a double-entry Visa.

*Do check these amounts as they may have increased. If working with a tour operator they should have current info for single-entry and additional amount if double entry.

Botswana does not require a Visa of US citizens, so you only have to stop at wherever you cross the border and have your passports stamped.

Since neither Botswana nor Zambia requires Yellow Fever inoculation, your returning to SA, after being in those two countries, proof of Yellow Fever inoculation is ot required.
 
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May 18th, 2004, 12:22 PM
  #8
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Thanks sandi, We're staying at the Zambezi Sun - they've loaded the visa cost into our stay, so I don't remember what it is exactly - I do think $35USD sounds correct. We're going to SA from Botswana so no "double-entry" situation.

Thanks for the information.
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May 24th, 2004, 04:53 PM
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I got the shot for a recent trip to Ghana. If you get it, just get it at the end of the week since it makes you very drowsy.I felt like I had a sleeping disease or something. I wasn't told that I'd have this reaction before it was given to me, but when I went back to my healthcare provider to get some other shots,weeks later, the first thing she said, after looking at my chart was, " Oh, I see you've had a yellow fever shot?Did you get really drowsy?"
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May 25th, 2004, 03:32 AM
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Interesting about getting drowsy after having your Yellow Fever inoculation. None of us had any reactions to this particular inoculation, but it's good information to be aware - different people, I guess, have different reactions.
 
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May 25th, 2004, 06:03 AM
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Yes,it is interesting. For me it was just the opposite. The nurse actually warned me about this possibility, and I went home thinking that it was going to be a lousy day or 2, but within hours I forgot about the warning because nothing ever happened.
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May 25th, 2004, 07:27 AM
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Balancing cost, likelyhood of catching it, likelyhood of future travel to places requiring it, etc, We've decided against getting the shot.

Just curious though, for those who got a yellow fever shot: what did it cost, did insurance cover it?

We've found that Malarone, Hep-A, and Cipro, none of which are cheap, won't be covered by our health insurance. They may not even pay for Tetnus, MMR, and Polio boosters. Anyone else with similar health insurance denials?
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May 25th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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Favor,

Our health insurance did not cover any of the shots either or most of the prescriptions.

We did only have to pay the required co-payment costs for the cipro.

It was costly to have all the required innoculations/prescriptions to travel to Kenya and Tanzania but we felt that in the long run it was and still is a smart investment in our health.

Since we returned to Africa w/in a year of our first trip, we felt in was a wise investment. And if we make plans to travel to other third world countries in the future, which I'm sure we'll probably do, it eliminates the need to go through most of this again.



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May 25th, 2004, 09:20 AM
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My local travel clinic pressured me to get the yellow fever shot also. I didn't need it to go to Namibia but I got it anyway. They showed me an article out of our newspaper about a man from Houston that died 3 months earlier from yellow fever contracted in a place that doesn't have yellow fever. Call me a sucker but mosquitos love me! Now that I've been on safari twice in Jul/Aug - I doubt that I would be persuaded to get it.

My health insurance did not cover yellow fever or any of the other innoculations. The county health department was cheaper than my doctor so I got them there.
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May 25th, 2004, 04:32 PM
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My shots were free...Hepatitis, Meningitis,Tetanus, and Yellow Fever. Malarone costs about $125.00 for a three-week supply, but I only paid US$10.00...the medical insurance picked up the rest...Kaiser Permanente of California. For those of you out there who have Kaiser...they have a very good travel clinic. Just call your local Kaiser and they will give you the number. Then call the travel clinic and tell them where you'll be traveling to and they will send out a printout of all shots needed and recommended...along with a medical advice travel booklet. Then they'll contact your local Kaiser to order the shots for you so that when you walk in they will be there. No appointment needed. Just walk in and they'll pull your chart and give them to you. Happy travels!
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May 25th, 2004, 05:05 PM
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Favor - Since Yellow Fever inoc is not required for the countries you'll be visiting, then you don't need it.

Depending on the type of health insurance one has will determine what will or won't be covered when it comes to travel. Often as soon as the insurance company sees anything about travel on an insurance form, they decline reimbursement.

While I had to pay for the Yellow Fever inoc, I was fortunate enough to have a smart physician when it came to coding the procedures for insurance purposes - with no intention of "cheating." Rather she felt that inocs such as Tetanus, Hep-A (both good for 1-years) and Polio Booster (now good for life) were necessary for "general good health and to bring me current with inocs."

As far as the Cipro and Malarone, these were handled as any other of my prescripions which are done on a 3-tiered basis - generic, approved brand and non-approved brand. Cipro was approved, Malarone was not - the first cost $20, the latter was $50.

My feeling - "better safe than sorry - it's all considered as part of the cost of travel to specific destinations." When you consider that some country entry Visas can run $100 or more and inoculations and medicines are required, you should always check such requirements before, not after you've made your deposit.
 
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May 26th, 2004, 09:13 AM
  #17
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Sandi - I had already investigated and determined that a yellow fevor shot was not 'officially' required, long before I sent a deposit. My travel clinic suggested otherwise.

As a seasoned traveller I know that the official rules don't mean a thing when you are standing, with passport and visa in hand, in front of a customs offical. At that point they are the law, what you've read or been told is of marginal interest to them.

The great value in boards such as this is that often you can get recently tested advice from ground level. Had someone responded that they had had a problem over yellow fever innoculations at any of the crossings we'll be taking - this might be a reason to go ahead and spend more money than planned.

"Better safe than sorry" begs the questions of what is 'safe' and at what cost and value is 'better'? This board is a great tool in figuring these things out. Thank you for your responses.
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May 26th, 2004, 02:44 PM
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Favor - You're absolutely right about what is officially required and coming face to face with the person in a uniform at Immigration.

We ran into this situation when ending an East Africa safari with a week in the Seychelles. While the Yellow Fever inoc is not required for entry into the Seychelles (if traveling direct from the US or UK, etc), the fact that we had been in Kenya & Tanzania changed that requirement. And sure enough upon arrival in SEZ, all on the BA flight from LHR that had stopped to pick up passengers in NBO (us, and others) had to show the Yellow Fever card. We had these, but even those passengers who didn't disembark the plane in NBO had to have the YF card, which they did. A good example of needing an inoc for one country just because your flight happens to touch down in another country where the inoc is needed (and you never get to visit).

There are a wealth of scenarios we can find on these boards, which would, otherwise, be unknown to most of us. Enjoy your holiday.
 
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May 26th, 2004, 03:55 PM
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Help. Speaking of yellow fever shots, I have just decided to definitely have the shot, but have realized that I can't get them just anywhere. I wanted to go to my regular doctor and to my daughter's regular pediatrician. I was informed in NY that only certain doctors and hospitals can give the shot. They don't take insurance and are quite far from me. This is becoming a real hassle. I thought the vaccine could be order and given by any qualifying doc. I understand this was the case in the past.....does everyone now have to go to a special doctor (not their own) to get this shot?
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May 26th, 2004, 08:17 PM
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Cronen - Yellow Fever is not kept in offices of general practice physcians, and hasn't been for years. And Yellow Fever is not covered by insurance. The price can be about $125+/-.

I would suggest you contact the major hospitals in your area (you know which) and ask if they have a Travel Medicine Clinic that provides the Yellow Fever inoc. If they do, check the price and make an appointment. I don't believe the Public Health Clinic provides this inoc.

The alternative would be to check the Yellow Pages under "Travel Medicine" where you'll probably find individual physicians or full-blown clinics, but be prepared for them to try to sell you on everything - Tetanus, Hep-A, Polio, etc., etc., and the script for malaria meds. I believe you plan on getting these others thru your own physician and pediatrician.

Hope this works for you.

 
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