A Yellow Fever Certificate is not just essential, but compulsory in some countries. You need to get one before heading off on any kind of adventurous travel. You’ll be asked for your Yellow Fever Certificate at some airports and a few land border crossings. Don’t take any risks. Get your Yellow Fever Injection before you head off round the world. I’m saying this because it’s better to have it in advance than suddenly decide you want to fly to Namibia in two weeks and you won’t have time to get a quick one. Of course if you’re not a nomad or a spontaneous traveller then you may not need one if you already know the countries you are going to and whether they are at risk or not.
I got my latest batch of injections in 2010 just before I headed to Africa and South America. I lived in Australia at the time and used The Travel Doctor in Parramatta. Some of these were just top up injections, but the Yellow Fever Injection was for the first time. Important things you need to know about the Yellow Fever Injection:
1. You WILL get asked for it entering some countries. Be prepared for this – better to be safe than sorry (yes, I know you could make up a story that you have one and lost the certificate – but seriously why take the risk?? This is a disease we are talking about!)
2. You almost always have to pay for it. I cannot remember the cost of my Yellow Fever Vaccination, though it was somewhere in the region of $60 AU Dollars (in 2010).
3. Trust travel Doctors – when I’m heading to a new country and I am not sure if I am covered or not, I go to the doctor and don’t think twice about paying for the injections. This is my style and you don’t have to follow it – but generally I don’t take any risks with it. The reason I trust them is it’s their job. If someone asks me something as a travel writer, I expect them to trust me as it’s my job. I ought to know about it, and a doctor should know about vaccinations for different countries. You can do what research you want online, BUT I don’t generally trust it – I go to a doctor. The information sections in Lonely Planet books are also useful.
4. Your Yellow Fever Certificate needs to have an official stamp and a doctor’s signature on it. I have attached a photo of my stamp above.
5. Your Yellow Fever Certificate needs to be from an Accredited Yellow Fever Vaccine Centre.
6. Carry it with you everywhere you go – I say this again from self experience as I’m a tad nomadic – I might arrive in a country that you don’t need the Vaccine, then suddenly take the urge to visit the neighbouring one.
7. It will be valid for 10 years.
On a final note, subjects like this are very serious and while this is my view on it, remember I am not a doctor so please, please check with your travel doctor first on what injections you need for certain countries.
Yes, I have built a lifestyle of travel, but I couldn’t do it without my Tuesday’s Travel Essentials and I certainly wouldn’t have risked doing Africa and parts of South America without having my Yellow Fever Certificate.
What is Yellow Fever? – A potentially deadly, fatal hemorrhagic disease consisting of fever, headache, vomiting, chills, nausea, muscle pain (in brief – you don’t want it!!)
How is it contracted? As with a lot of diseases, through a bite from a certain type of female mosquito (again, even after getting your vaccination, best to keep taking your malaria tablets, using insect repellent and taking all precautions against bites)
What Countries Are Affected? – According to the doctors I have spoken to, most of Africa and parts of South America are affected by Yellow Fever. And let’s be honest those are two of the best continents to travel in, so you’ll need your Yellow Fever Certificate.
How much does a Yellow Fever Vaccination cost? – Depends on country, and individual cost of clinic. As a good estimate, I’d say $40 US is a good price and $90 US and you’re being ripped off. But again, TAKE NO RISKS!
Happy travelling and Don’t Stop Living!