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Vaccinations and Medicine for Central & South America

I spent quite a while researching vaccinations and medicines that we will need for the trip.  One important thing that I learned (and I think most people know this), is that you have to forward your medical records to every new doctor you see.  Unfortunately, this has taken longer than expected, for in order to release medical records, doctors need a faxed and signed release form before any information is sent.  Here’s what is recommended (Nick and I have had some of these vaccinations already, which helps on time and money).  NOTE: I am not a doctor – not even close.  I can barely even stand the sight of blood. Please consult a professional before embarking on your journey.

  • Hepatitis A: 2 shots last for 30 years.  Administered at your doctor’s office.
  • Hepatitis B: A series of 3 shots
  • Typhoid: Typhim VI.  Lasts for 2 years.  Can get this at the Health Department.
  • Rabies: Administered at the Health Department.
  • Malaria: There are a few options of taking anti-malarial pills.  We are taking Chlorquine, which only requires medication while in the malarial areas once a week, and to continue the medication once a week for four weeks afterward.  See the Anti-Malaria Drug Options post for more information.
  • Traveler’s Diarrhea: CIPRO – I have been told that you can buy this cheaply in Mexico, and you don’t need a prescription for it.  This is a broadband antibiotic that combats common causes of bacterial dissentary.
  • Yellow Fever: Can get this at the Health Department.  Good for 10 years.  You will receive a yellow card (proof that you received the shot) – make sure to take this with you.
  • Tetnis: TDAP – can be administered at the Health Department.

To see a complete explanation and listing for every country in Central and South America, go to wwwn.cdc.gov/travel and click on Destinations.

I have been told that travel clinics are more expensive than Health Department and doctor’s visits.  I recommend you consult with your doctor & the Health Department before going to a travel clinic.

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One Comment

  1. Hi Ann,

    Nick and I were fine with switching, and we just made the medication switch once we arrived in Guatemala. We did not overlap.

    1. admin on October 5th, 2010 at 10:43 am

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