Vaccinations, Inoculations, and Prophylaxis - Oh My!

Interesting question posted in a FB group and came here to see if the topic every came up.  Did not find "vaccination" in a search so am going to jump into the abyss and post an original question.

How many people here check the official Embassy / Consulate websites for the destinations you are visiting in order to determine if you should get any shots or take other prophylactic measures relative to disease control?

I realize with the Caribbean, there are not too many worries... but cruises have expanded into more exotic geography (e.g., Africa, S. America) and this kind of preparation is important.  It's not so straightforward either.  If you transit through a yellow fever zone on your way to another destination, some of those countries require you to get a yellow fever shot even if you never took a step on land.

Anyone care to share?




Tags: vaccination inoculation prophylaxis

5 Answers

Before my wife and I started to cruise, we actually brought a brochure and went to see the family Doctor. We did not require any shots at the time, but the Doctor did suggest some preventative cautions. For the Panama cruise---Drink bottled water, us bug spray on the jungle canopy tour, Bring wipes before we went snorkeling ...Etc. An ounce of prevention......

We have spoken of doing an Asia cruise in the future, for this cruise he suggests some inoculations, depending on what Health Canada suggest.

Good topic though, let's see what the response will be.

This is a nice resource for US travelers. I am sure other country's CDC-equivalent government entity has the same/similar...

I took a Grand Voyage of 78 days and I did check BEFORE I booked it to ensure that i did not need any shots. I did not unless I stayed more than a couple f days in certain areas. I am taking another cruise into Asia and the Middle East and did already check out the newer ports and none again are needed.

I also check travel advisories for those areas. None are issued at this time. I will check back again in a few months to see if things change. Mostly in the past I have mainly traveled to Europe and the Caribbean. So, I did not check then.

If you are traveling to distant ports including Australia, please also check if you need a visa to enter. Years ago I visited Australia & did not need a visa. Last year, I found out that I did. It is the traveler';s responsibility to get the necessary visas although some may be obtained by the cruise line. Usually China had to be obtained by the passenger.

Glomarrone -

Your point regarding length of stay in ports is another important one when deciding of shots are necessary. The onus rests with the traveler to do their own homework.

In my case, it did not matter that I did not step foot in Senegal, I still had to get a yellow fever shot because the plane touched down in Dakar. My mother traveled with me and her PCP was adamant about her not needing the shot. It was not until I produced a reference from both CDC and South African health department stating the policy that the office relented and gave her the shot.

Next year, we are cruising 50 days including west and eastbound full transits through the Panama Canal. I have already started monitoring requirements for shots. Sometimes it is not something you can do at the last minute.

And this is a cruise ship specific link on the CDC site...


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