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North America, South America and the Caribbean - travel vaccination advice

Vaccination against various diseases is recommended when travelling to most South American and Caribbean countries. The vaccines depend on the destination, type of accommodation, sanitary conditions, length of stay, and the general health of the traveller.

Vaccination against various diseases is recommended when travelling to most South American and Caribbean countries. The vaccines depend on the destination, type of accommodation, sanitary conditions, length of stay, and the general health of the traveller.


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Malaria precautions are essential in some parts of South American  and the Caribbean. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net. In addition, antimalarial tablets are recommended when travelling to some parts of the area, notably the Amazonas area. 

For information about yellow fever vaccination requirements, see WHO:

People who are unsure if they have had the MMR vaccine or whether they have had measles, mumps or rubella (German measles) are recommended to take the vaccine.

International travel can be divided into two main groups

Table 1. International travel can be divided into two main groups

GROUP I   

Business and tourist travel to cities and tourist resorts, staying in standard tourist-class hotels with good food hygiene and adequate sanitary conditions.

GROUP II

Long-term foreign travel or residence in areas with poor hygiene and sanitation, and / or close and prolonged contact with locals. Such as work, backpacking trips, immigrants on a visit to their former homeland.

( ): Parentheses around the abbreviation means that the proposed prevention should be considered individually depending on the trip type and local geographic and seasonal variations in disease prevalence. In addition, the traveller's health, age and previous immunisation status should be evaluated.

Recommended vaccines

Table 2. Recommended vaccines
DESTINATIONS GROUP I  GROUP II       
Canada, USA** dTP-IPV* dTP-IPV*
(MenACWY)

Greenland

dTP-IPV*

(Rab)
(BCG)

Chile, Cuba, Uruguay

dTP-IPV* 

dTP-IPV* 
(Hep A) 
(Typh) 
(Rab)

Belize

dTP-IPV* dTP-IPV*
(Hep A) 
(Hep B)
(Typh)
(Rab)

Mexico

dTP-IPV* 
Hep A
Typh

dTP-IPV* 
Hep A 
(Hep B)
Typh 
(Rab)

El Salvador, Nicaragua

dTP-IPV*
Hep A
Typh
dTP-IPV*
Hep A
(Hep B)
Typh 
(Rab)
(BCG)

Costa Rica

dTP-IPV*
Hep A
dTP-IPV*
Hep A
(Hep B)
(Typh) 
(Rab)

Haiti

dTP-IPV* 
Hep A
Typh

dTP-IPV* 
Hep A 
(Hep B)
(Typh) 
(Rab)
(BCG)

Guatemala, Honduras

dTP-IPV* 
Hep A
dTP-IPV* 
Hep A 
(Hep B)
(Typh) 
(Rab)

Dominican Republic

dTP-IPV* 
Hep A
dTP-IPV* 
Hep A 
(Hep B)
(Typh) 
(Rab)
(BCG)

Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago

dTP-IPV*
(Y)
dTP-IPV* 
(Hep A) 
(Hep B) 
(Typh) 
(Rab) 
(Y)
Caribbean islands not mentioned above dTP-IPV*
Hep A
dTP-IPV* 
Hep A 
(Hep B)
(Typh) 
Guyana dTP-IPV*
Hep A 
Y
dTP-IPV* 
Hep A 
(Hep B) 
(Typh) 
(Rab) 
(BCG) 
Y
Colombia dTP-IPV*
Hep A
(Y)
dTP-IPV* 
Hep A 
(Hep B) 
(Typh) 
(Rab) 
(Y)
Venezuela

dTP-IPV*
Hep A
Typh
(Y)

dTP-IPV* 
Hep A 
(Hep B)
(Typh) 
(Rab) 
(BCG) 
(Y)
Paraguay dTP-IPV*
Hep A 
(Y)
dTP-IPV* 
Hep A 
(Typh) 
(Rab) 
(BCG) 
(Y)
Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru  dTP-IPV*
Hep A 
(Y)
dTP-IPV* 
Hep A 
(Hep B) 
(Typh) 
(Rab) 
(BCG) 
(Y)
 French Guiana, Surinam  
dTP-IPV*
Hep A
Y
dTP-IPV* 
Hep A 

(Hep B) 

*) Everybody should be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and poliomyelitis. Adults who have had the basic vaccinations should have a booster dose against these diseases every 10 years. 

** Some states / schools have their own requirements for meningococcal vaccination of pupils and students. Tuberculosis Vaccine (BCG) should not be given to those who will study in the United States.

** In July 2022, WHO reported a case of polio caused by vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 in Rockland County, in the state of New York, USA. The patient was an unvaccinated adult who developed paralysis. Corresponding polioviruses have been detected in several sewage samples in the same area. Vaccination coverage in the USA is generally high, and the virus has been detected in a geographical local area with under-vaccinated population groups. Thus, the vaccine virus has been able to circulate and regain disease-causing abilities. Related viruses have also been detected in the sewage in London, UK and Jerusalem, Israel in 2022. This indicates vaccine virus circulation across national borders in connection with travel. Vaccination campaigns have been launched and surveillance heightened. For travellers, it is important to ensure up-to-date polio vaccination and consider bringing forward the vaccination of infants. For more information see the WHO's website.

Abbreviations for travel vaccines

  • dTP-IPV: Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio vaccine
  • Hep A: Hepatitis A vaccine
  • Hep B: Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Rab: Rabies vaccine
  • Typh: Typhoid vaccine
  • Y: Yellow fever vaccine
  • BCG: Tuberculosis vaccine
  • Men: Meningococcal vaccine

Source for travel vaccination advice given by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health 

History

28.11.2022: Updated according to Statement of the Thirty-third Polio IHR Emergency Committee (WHO November 2022)