The Guide to Travel Immunizations for South America

No matter what country you're from and how experienced a traveler you are, you probably need to get some immunizations. We asked our adventure friends around the world what you need before you go.

Travellers to South and Central America should get the minimum vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Center for Disease Control including:

  • Hepatitis A & B
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow Fever - This vaccine is always a good idea if you will be in the jungle since there are periodic outbreaks and deaths. Some countries require it for entry.
  • Rabies - Yes, rabid animals can bite you even in the most cosmopolitan city and, once bitten, you could die unless you received the rabies vaccination in advance.
  • Flu Shots - Flu Season in South America begins in June. If you are traveling during the Southern Hemisphere's winter, you may be exposed to circulating influenza—both seasonal and H1N1.
  • Malaria medication might also be recommended depending on the country.

Immunization Tips

Your once-in-a-lifetime trip should not be hampered by bringing home an unwanted souvenir of yellow fever or other malady. With proper preparation, you can maintain your health and remain at ease for traveling anywhere in South America.

Aswin Kedia from Vacapedia shares his tips of what to consider before getting your all important jabs.

Check Immunization Records

Verify your previous immunizations and if they meet the routine requirements for the area(s) you plan to visit. Typically this should include measles and DPT shots. A require a booster shot may be needed if it has been a long duration since your most recent shot.

Visit a Medical Professional

A doctor who specializes in travel medicine can enlighten you about the recommended and required vaccinations needed for a specific country. Recommended vaccinations are not mandatory but required vaccinations are. Your doctor should also be knowledgeable of all recent notifications or health risk warnings issued by the World Health Organization.


Individuals should contemplate taking prescribed medication, such as anti-malaria drugs in order to avoid potential medical problems.


Immunizations recommended and required to prevent unwanted illness need to be injected in advance of your trip. Plan on having your vaccinations completed several weeks before your departure to South America. Some vaccinations require a series of shots such as those used for Hepatitis B.


Learn as much as possible about the possible health risks and preventions for the country you plan to visit. For detailed information in the different geographical locations of South America, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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  • Travel clinc said

    Yellow fever is mainly occurs in Africa and south America.Yellow fever vaccine is recommended for travelers those who above nine month age.Yellow fever vaccine is a single dose vaccination take preferably 10 days before the travel date. It must be provided by the approved Yellow fever vaccination clinic. Those who desire to travel to South America this article is useful for them, it clearly gives the information about immunization tips, and how safely stay in South America.

  • M barron said

    Just needed info, have had most shots as I traveled to Africa some yrs. ago.

    Also visited South America in 2006, another yellow fever shot then.

    Appreciate any info . You am give .


  • Samuel Diego said

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  • Rosie said

    Hi everyone just informing you that even if you have a rabies vaccination you still need to have further rabies treatment ASAP if you're bitten - or else you will still die, it is 100% fatal. A rabies vaccination does decrease the amount of treatment you need afterwards as well as maybe giving you some more time.

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