Recommended immunizations for travel in South America

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
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Andean Adventure

Recommended immunizations for travel in South America
Immunizations are an essential consideration for travelers heading out of the country. A country-by-country description of required and recommended shots is provided by the University of Washington Travel Medicine Service by calling 206-548-4888. Another good source is the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Travelers are strongly advised to consult a travel health professional.

Call around to compare prices before getting your shots, as costs may vary. In Seattle you can get shots either through the University of Washington Travel Medicine Service or the Department of Public Health. Both provide counseling for travelers.

Below is a list of immunizations we received for our trip. Costs in parentheses are for at University of Washington and the Department of Public Health. Prices are per shot as of September 1, 1996.

Yellow Fever ($53/$45). One shot. Required for those traveling to or coming from countries where Yellow Fever is endemic (e.g., Ecuador)

Hepatitis A/Havrix ($65/$55). Two shots; second six to nine months later. Recommended for those traveling outside of tourist areas or long-term travelers. Travelers used to receive immunoglobulin, but now Havrix, a synthetic, is recommended.

Hepatitis B ($58/$38). Three shots. Second shot after one month; third after six months. Recommended for long-term travelers and those traveling outside tourist areas or far from reliable medical facilities.

Typhoid Oral ($25/$28). Four pills taken over one week. Recommended. A shot is also available that is less expensive but less effective and with more potential side effects.

Rabies Pre-Exposure ($58). Three shots over one month. Recommended for veterinarians or those working with animals. We decided to get the shots due to incidences of rabies in dogs that like to chase cyclists. You still need additional shots if infected, however there are fewer and the cost is substantially less.

Diphtheria/Tetanus ($10). One shot. Recommended booster.

Measles/Mumps/Rubella ($40/$10). Recommended for those have never received a second booster shot.

©2000, Mariah Media Inc.

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