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Yellow Fever Vaccine Required for Some Traveling to Costa Rica

The Clinica Biblica and CIMA Hospital receive a total of around 120 people each day requesting a yellow fever vaccine. The demand at these two hospitals is so high because they are the only ones that provide the vaccine, which is now required for travelers arriving to the country from a list of 20 countries, as well as those making plans to travel to the countries.

Saprissa soccer club gets vaccinated against yellow fever
Costa Rica News — Saprissa gets vaccinated against Yellow Fever

The list includes the nations of Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Recent cases of the disease in Brazil and Africa led to the vaccine requirements for certain travelers. In Brazil, about 17 cases have already been reported this year, and at least 3 deaths are thought to be the result of the fever.

Celebrities are not above the requirements. As anyone who attended the Fiestas de Palmares on Jan. 20 may know, the reggaeton singer Zion Baby was unable to cross into Costa Rica from Panama because he did not have the yellow fever vaccine and had just finished up a concert in Colombia. Other members of his group who were allowed to enter the country decided the party must go on, and did their best to fill in for the lead singer.

The Ministry of Health also required that the Saprissa soccer club get vaccinated early this month in order to travel to Uruguay to play in the Copa Ricard, which ends tomorrow.

Yellow fever is a viral disease that is transmitted by the same mosquito species that transmits dengue and causes muscular pain, nausea, vomiting, possible hemorrhaging and in certain cases, death.

CIMA Hospital has had so many people requesting the $26 vaccine that they are going to resort to requiring appointments to receive it. It does not make sense for pharmacies to sell the vaccine because the manufacturers sell it in bottles of about 10 doses, which must be administered within six hours of mixing the powder and solvent together. By timing appointments appropriately, the hospital can be sure that the 10 doses won’t be wasted.

The Hospital Clinica Biblica, which currently vaccinates 100 people daily against yellow fever, will also begin requiring appointments, as well as performing “house calls” to businesses that ask for it. Here, the vaccine costs about $31.

Once a person is vaccinated, they must then take proof of vaccination to the Ministry of Health to receive the appropriate documents that will be required to travel to any of the listed countries. The document must also have a Red Cross and Medical College stamp.

Photo courtesy of La Nacion.

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Written by Claire Saylor

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