Do you need a Yellow Fever Vaccination for Panama?

While Yellow Fever is not present in Panama, The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health (Minsa) are warning travelers of the importance of the international vaccine.

Yellow Fever is not present in Panama, therefore a vaccine is not required here. However, Minsa warns that this international vaccine is important and it is required for people who are going to travel to areas, like Brazil or Nicaragua, to get vaccinated or they will be at risk of yellow fever. 

While the requirement, of having the Yellow Fever vaccination has been in effect in Panama for several years, it’s returned to the headlines after the death of two Brazilian tourists. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a list of countries where travelers are required to be vaccinated for Yellow Fever. The countries where it is mandatory to have the vaccination include Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Peru, Paraguay, Suriname, El Salvador, Honduras, Bonaire, Aruba, Guyana, Thailand, India and all of the countries in the African continent. 

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that the centers authorized to give vaccination include the Office of International Vaccination of the Metropolitan Region of Health, the Regional Office of the Ministry of Health and the office of the Regional Coordination of Epidemiology. 

The coordinator of International Monitoring of Minsa, Israel Cedeño, clarified that while the entity does not charge the vaccine, there is a cost for the international vaccination card. For Panamanians and foreigners naturalized residents the cost of the international vaccination is $20, For non-residents and foreigners the cost of the card is $100. 

Cedeño said there is a group of people who are exempted from the vaccine, such as pregnant women, those over 60 and those with diseases that compromise the immune system and those allergic to egg protein.

For the vaccine to be effective it must be applied 10 days before the stipulated travel date and the duration of the dose is 10 years.