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Yellow fever vaccination and our itinerary.

New Jersey
Level Contributor
246 posts
169 reviews
Yellow fever vaccination and our itinerary.

I understand that in the winter of this year the yellow fever vaccination was no longer required for entry into SA from Zambia. But while at the travel clinic today for my visit with the nurse she read something to us stating that certain Zambian borders may deny you to exit if you have not had the shot ( as in they are not updated as to the new procedure). Our itinerary is as follows: JFK to Tambo, connecting flt to Livingstone. Zambia for 4 nights, journey to Botswana ( 6 nights), then flight to Capetown ( 6 nights). Departure: CT to Tambo to JFK. Would like to hear from recent travelers as to their experience crossing these borders in relation to being asked to present YF documentation. Thank you.

United States
Level Contributor
1,119 posts
68 reviews
1. Re: Yellow fever vaccination and our itinerary.

We were in South Africa, Botswana and Zambia in January 2015 and we had to show our yellow fever certificates on several occasions crossing borders. I know they are saying YFV is no longer required but supposedly that was the case in January too. A couple trying to enter Botswana was denied entry because they did not have their yellow fever certificates and they had to drive back to Livingstone with us, ruining their trip and adding an unnecessary delay to ours.

The shot doesn't hurt, is good for 10 years and will guarantee that your trip isn't ruined if someone hasn't received the memo. I say better safe than sorry, but that's your call. I am sure others will tell you not to bother with the shot.

Have fun on your trip!!

New Jersey
Level Contributor
246 posts
169 reviews
2. Re: Yellow fever vaccination and our itinerary.

Thank you for your detailed response. One of us is above 60 and the other above 70 so this is of concern to us as the incidence of severe reactions ( palsy , for example) to the vaccine are much higher for people of our ages. Passport Health does not even give the vaccine to "elders" unless you have a dr's prescription. We really do not want to take a chance with our health. I just emailed the Botswana Embassy to see what they say as all of this is so transitional. I see South Africa made changes to their requirement 1/23/15. The CDC indicates that since Zambia was taken off the risk list it should not be required in Botswana but I do understand it is a matter of all the border areas coming into agreement with this new practice. We would be ferrying from Livingstone across the Zambezi as our entry way to Botswana. I am not too worried about entering S. Africa as I have seen so many pronouncements online about not needing the vac.

london
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
5,860 posts
3. Re: Yellow fever vaccination and our itinerary.

In that case, get a medical exemption letter. It will have the same effect as a certificate, and I think being 60+ is a legitimate medical reason not to have the vaccination.

New Jersey
Level Contributor
246 posts
169 reviews
4. Re: Yellow fever vaccination and our itinerary.

Yes, Stokeygirl, I have added an exemption letter to the list of things to discuss with my dr. I figured it can't hurt and it may help. Thank you for your much valued opinion.

5. Re: Yellow fever vaccination and our itinerary.

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