Discuss the importance of vaccines, side affects of medications, water-safety worries and health insurance questions. Research malaria meds, cost of medical treatment overseas and other issues related to health on the road.

Vaccination Card

Jennifer Carrillo

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Armchair Traveler
Posts: 44
Joined: June 21st, 2008

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Tags: vaccine cardimmunization
  • Added on: October 21st, 2008
I have read the various posts about what vaccines to have before going on our RTW. My question is do we have to travel with our original immunization cards or will copies suffice? Just worried about losing the original even though we scanned it and can make copies.
Also, everyone seems to have a separate answer for which immunization to have/not have. Instead of spending another $300 each on a travel doctor visit and following vaccines, do we really need : meningitis, typhoid and rabies? Better question, for everyone already in SEA or recently visited, did you have the above vaccines?
We both have all US required vaccines incl yellow fever and hep A & B.


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Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 230
Joined: December 22nd, 2004

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  • Added on: November 29th, 2008
I'm wondering the same thing - if I should keep an actual immunization card with me. I think I have one.. somewhere...

Wandering Girl

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Armchair Traveler
Posts: 36
Joined: April 25th, 2005
Location: Canada

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  • Added on: November 30th, 2008
I've always traveled with the card. Some countries require you to produce it. I've never been asked personally but know some travelers who have. I was in SEA 2 years ago and got the typhoid but not the other two.


Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: June 4th, 2008
Location: Martensville, Saskatchewan, Canada

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  • Added on: February 2nd, 2010
Go to your local travel clinic. I'm not sure if they are similar to Canada, but here, one can purchase a booklet for $5 that the nurse will fill out with every vaccination you have ever recieved based on the information in your Health File. I'm sure there are similar programs in the USA.

As for Meningitis, I'm opting out of that one. It's really only a huge problem when staying with large groups of people for long periods of time(like dorms at colleges). Hostels don't really have that big of an issue regarding this.

Typhoid - I'm getting it with my Hep A booster as it makes the shot way cheaper. Whether I need it or not, I'm not sure.

Rabies - that's a dosey. The Rabies shot is crazy expensive(>$700 here in Canada). You have to get three and there's a strict schedual that one must follow(Shot on day 0, 7, 14). That's a lot of money in one pay period. It is a bad disease to get(100% fatal if untreated within 24 hours). That being said, if you don't plan on chasing after dogs with foaming mouths or dealing with animals a lot, then you should be safe to go without. If you still want to get it, do some research around your city to see if any Doctors, particularily at the University Hospital, have any intra-durmal rabies vaccination clinics. Having it intra-durmal allows the doctor to split each dose among a group of people wanting it(and thus the cost is split as well). The only downside of this is you are at the whim of the doctors schedual. They will usually give you one time and place to come and you have to rearrange your schedual to fit it. But, if you're with six other people, and can get the Rabies shot for only $100 rather than $700, I think it's worth it.
My travels begin, November 2010. http://whereswaldner.blogspot.com


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Extra Pages in Passport
Posts: 2735
Joined: February 12th, 2001
Location: Antwerp, Belgium

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  • Added on: February 3rd, 2010
You may need it to prove that you had the Yellow Fever shot. I don't know about other continents, but in Africa it's usually checked when you enter. I know Ivory Coast is quite strict with this - my husband was given (or rather, sold) a new YF shot and a new card at the border because they claimed his yellow card had expired, so a copy would definitely not suffice.
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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 5
Joined: July 18th, 2010

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  • Added on: July 18th, 2010
I would always get the shots that are recommended. As for taking you vaccination card I think you have to have your original card. They have to make sure that you have not forged the documentation. I would think you could always call a travel agent that specializes in trips to that area and they could tell you.


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World Citizen
Posts: 1174
Joined: January 12th, 2008
Location: Traveling for a while away from Playa San Diego SV

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  • Added on: July 20th, 2010
Travel clinic in Oshawa included the booklet in the consultation price but have never had to produce it.
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"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain


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Squat Toilet Professional
Posts: 859
Joined: November 8th, 2007
Location: California

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  • Added on: July 21st, 2010
I was traveling with someone who didn't have a card and was forced to get a vaccination on the way into Central African Republic. They used the biggest needle - horse style! Plus I don't really trust border people. What if it isn't sanitary? I think bring the card and if you're really worried have a local doctor/clinic fill out a duplicate to leave with someone at home in case you lose the original original.

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