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Which vaccines are actually REQUIRED for travel to Haiti

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm planning a 4-day trip to Haiti in about 6 weeks. My brother has been several times (going this time as well) and says that there is a yellow slip of paper that needs to be presented to Customs (I'm assuming that is on the way back into the U.S.) to prove that you've had the required vaccines. Problem is, I can't tell what is actually required.


According to this page - http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/haiti.htm "Before visiting Haiti, you may need to get the following vaccinations and medications for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases you might be at risk for at your destination:(Note: Your doctor or health-care provider will determine what you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities.)"


The page goes on to list "Recommended" vaccines, but never shows any actual "Requirements". I'm worried about getting stuck in customs if I don't have the paper they want, but I don't want to get a bunch of vaccines just because the CDC "recommends" them. I'm pretty much anti-vaccine, but I'm not looking to debate so much as find some concrete information on what will be required of me when traveling. I have a doctor's appointment in a few days, and I'd like to be armed with hard facts. If the doc is who will give me the yellow paper, then I want to know how to get her to give it to me without having any vaccines.


Oh, I should probably be giving her a copy of my vax history, if I can find it. I haven't found it yet. Will update here if I do. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!

post #2 of 16
I have never heard of any requirements for vaccinations when traveling from to US to another country. I don't think your brother is correct here.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

It's required when returning to the US from Haiti. Hope that helps.

post #4 of 16

It's worth looking around more on, but I'm pretty sure the only requirement is the yellow fever one listed on the page for people entering Haiti from countries that have yellow fever because they do not want anyone bringing it in.  If you are travelling from the US, that shouldn't matter.  


Malaria is worth looking into to see if the area you will be in is a risk for it and deciding what you want to do if it is as Malaria can be pretty nasty - I have a friend who got it many years ago when living overseas and was very sick for a long, long time.  There is no vaccine for Malaria at this time (they are working on one), so the options are methods to avoid mosquitos and taking anti-malarials as a preventative.  

post #5 of 16
Try this page.
post #6 of 16
Looks like the only thing required is a passport for re-entry.

post #7 of 16
They give this number to call for further info on vaccines if you want to make sure:
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

OK, that's a start. Thanks! May also hit the health dept on Monday and see what they say.

post #9 of 16

I got the typhoid vax when I went to that region.... (peace corps) as well as Hep A and Hep B.  But, I lived there for years and did drink the water of course...  I personally think that for just a few days, as long as you're not drinking water without iodine or boiling, I wouldn't worry about typhoid.  If you are going to be eating food prepared by regular folks, maybe get the Hep A.  The sicknesses I caught, and saw my colleagues catch, were parasites (lots, lots of parasites) and dengue (no vaccination).  Sleep under a mosquito net no matter what, if the people you're staying with feel that you're offending them, try to teach them and even provide them with one if possible, as everyone in that region should use one if there's no glass in their windows (and I NEVER slept in a place with glass in the windows there!).  I was never asked to show anything but a passport upon return.

Have fun :)

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you, Gryphonn! So, what of this yellow paper? Is it convention, but not actually requirement?

post #11 of 16
Originally Posted by leila1213 View Post

Thank you, Gryphonn! So, what of this yellow paper? Is it convention, but not actually requirement?


Google "International Vaccine Certificate."  It's yellow. 


Haiti may require yellow fever vaccination, but from the link you first posted, it appears that is only if you are coming from a country which may have yellow fever.  Countries which do not have yellow fever but do have mosquitoes that can carry it really want to keep the disease from crossing their borders and infecting mosquitoes.  


The US does not require any vaccines for re-entry.  Yellow fever is not transmitted directly from person to person, and while the US still does have some mosquitoes which can act as a vector for it, the population of them is small and limited in geographic area, so there isn't much concern of an outbreak in the US.  

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Perfect, thanks again!

post #13 of 16

I am headed to Haiti in June and decided to get the Hep A vaccine because I'm concerned about being exposed while I'm there.

post #14 of 16
Kind of ot but the yellow certificate is available in the US? The kids and I have one and whenever I make doctors make entries to it they look arty me add if I had 10 heads and they are so annoyed. They also don't have stickers on the vials to put in the yellow book. Back home they always have stickers with vaccine name, lot number and production date. I checked, neither acthib, daptacel nor the chickenpox one I got had those handy stickers. Instead our books now have handwritten entries
post #15 of 16
I was never asked for anything upon return, even after having been away for a year at a time. I always got a hearty "welcome home!" ... from the otherwise taciturn customs agents :-)
post #16 of 16

DH's parents were missionaries in Haiti a couple years ago and he visited them for a few weeks. There are no "required" vaccines for Haiti when coming from the U.S., just "recommended" ones. They do not check anything but your passport. Yellow Fever is not endemic to Haiti (CDC lists it as no risk), so that vax is not required for re-entry.


As for "recommendations," If it was me I'd just do the malaria pills. Hep A is also worth considering because that's a real possibility there. Typhoid is recommended but that's a nasty vaccine and not all that effective to boot, personally I'd skip it and just be careful about my water sources.

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