Colombia Vaccinations & Travel Health Advice

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colombia vaccinations travel health advice

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If you are going to travel to Colombia, you should find out about the vaccinations that are either mandatory to have (depending on where you arrive) or recommended to travel to Colombia.

When we travel we always have the custom, especially if we do it to some tropical country, to make a visit to the International Vaccination Center.

It is true that due to our traveling rhythm we have many vaccinations, but some of them have to be updated every two or three years.

In addition, we are not always 100% sure about which vaccines can be recommended, in this case in Colombia.

At the International Vaccination Center, they will tell you which vaccines you should get and which ones are recommended, depending on the areas of Colombia you visit.

Vaccines in Colombia

Fisherman near Sacambu, Amazon

If we talk about Colombia, there are several vaccines that will recommend you to get.

We do not enter into the debate of yes or no vaccines, since it is a very personal issue, each one must decide accordingly.

We have always been vaccinated, and we will continue to be so, since there are diseases that, without giving you the corresponding vaccine, can become very dangerous to your health.

To get vaccinated, you will have to go to a medical centre, but I strongly recommend that you visit the International Vaccination Centre beforehand.

Vaccination booklet

We all have this booklet since we were children, since it indicates the vaccines we have been given throughout our lives.

And you’re going to need it when you go to the International Vaccination Center.

Among other reasons, in case you have to get a reminder of any vaccination, and to add the vaccines you get.

That way you’ll have all the updated information.

Yellow Fever, mandatory vaccination

The yellow fever vaccine is the only compulsory vaccination you will be required to have when travelling to Colombia.

But this requirement is mandatory since 2019, though, if you arrive from a country where this disease is considered endemic.

Colombia considers that if you come from Angola, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo or Uganda, or if you have spent more than 12 hours in airports of these countries before stepping on Colombia, you must carry the certificate of the yellow fever vaccine.

Guatapé

Streets of Guatapé

Colombian authorities also recommend you get the yellow fever vaccine if you are going to visit Amazon departments such as Leticia, La Guajira, Norte de Santander, Tayrona, Sierra Nevada in Santa Marta, Los Llanos Orientales, Putumayo and the Atlantic coast.

You should get this vaccination at least ten times before you start your trip to Colombia.

This is the time considered necessary for our body to become immune to this disease.

It should not be given to babies under one year old.

Do not forget to take the certificate with you, as it is mandatory.

This certificate indicates that you have been vaccinated against yellow fever.

Do not forget to take out travel insurance if you travel to Colombia.

We tell you how to find the best travel insurance to travel to Colombia, and for being our reader, you can take advantage of a 5% discount by clicking here.

Is there malaria in Colombia?

Yes, in Colombia there is a risk of malaria in different areas of the country, and this should be taken into account, both to avoid mosquito bites, and to take some prophylactic against malaria as is the known malarone.

The areas considered at risk in Colombia are the departments of Chocó, Nariño, Cauca and the district of Buenaventura.

These would be where the risk is highest.

Then, where the risk is high, but somewhat less, it is in the regions of Urabá, Lower Cauca and Upper Sinú.

And finally, where the risk is high, but not so high, is in the Amazon, Orinoquia, Central East and Atlantic regions.

vaccines colombia

Map of malaria in Colombia

We, as we went to the Amazon, entering through Leticia, did decide to take malarone.

If you go to places that are above 1500 meters of altitude, there is no risk at all.

Just as there is no risk in cities like Bogotá, Medellín or Cartagena de Indias.

In any case, comment on your trip when you go to the International Vaccination Center, and they will tell you.

Recommended Vaccinations for Travel to Colombia

To travel to Colombia, it is recommended to be vaccinated against the triple virus, hepatitis A and B, tetanus-diphtheria.

It is also recommended to be vaccinated against typhoid fever.

vaccinations in Colombia

Cocora Valley

Mosquitoes

In addition to getting the shots you are told to get, don’t forget to pack an extra-strong mosquito repellent in your backpack.

We always carry a mosquito net, since it occupies almost nothing, and sometimes we have found lodgings without it.

You may not have to use it, but it’s better to be safe.

The most active time for mosquitoes is at dusk and dawn.

So the best way to avoid bites is to wear long pants and long sleeves.

Don’t forget your first aid kit

It is always good to bring your own first aid kit, we leave you in this link which is the basic kit that we usually carry in our trips.

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