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Vaccinations for South America
Most travellers on short trips to South America will receive two or three vaccination shots at least two weeks before travel.
One shot covers Tetanus/Diphtheria.
The other shot covers Hepatitis A/typhoid.
A final shot, if it is needed, covers Yellow Fever.
Vaccination for Yellow Fever is not always needed for travel to single South American countries but is invariably required if travel to more than one South American country is planned.
Additional vaccinations to cover Hepatitis B and Rabies should be considered by travellers planning to:
- Visit poorer countries (Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador)
- Travel 'off the beaten track'
- Undertake voluntary work (orphanages, hospices).
Travel to poorer countries implies access to weaker medical back-up in the event of an emergency and increased risk of accidental infection with Hepatitis B through poor medical treatment or the non-availability of Rabies Immune Globulin for the treatment of animal bites in travellers who are not already vaccinated against rabies. Ideally, Rabies vaccine should be commenced 3 or more weeks pre-travel. Hep B vaccine should be commenced at least 3 and ideally at least 5 weeks pre-travel.
Minimising the risk of Dengue Fever through mosquito bite avoidance is important in South America.