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Required / Needed Vaccines

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pmd2000
8/9/2019 13:54 EST

We're making our Panama travel readiness checklist and wasn't sure the need of some vaccines. On this trip we'll likely hike some easy trails around Boquete and Volcan, white water rafting, hit a few pacific beaches and maybe visit Bocas del Toro. Some websites mention getting yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A and malaria. We'll be in country for a month (jan 2020). What do you think?

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panamajames
8/9/2019 15:08 EST

I have been in Panama off and on since 2004 and haven't heard of anyone getting those infections or diseases but they do exist in the darkest and deepest part of the country and any tropical country so get shots if you like but not many people do. It can be an insurance like getting a flu shot. Free hiking in Boquete 3 or more times a week with hiking groups. Bocas is great and everything you mentioned is good. Sounds like my first trip many years ago. Contact me if you want suggestions.

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ranadelnorte
8/9/2019 16:02 EST

Panama does require Yellow Fever vaccination IF you’re coming from a country where the disease is endemic, such as Brazil. Otherwise, no requirements.
Unfortunately there is no vaccine against mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria or Dengue. If you’re not going to Darien province with thick tropical jungle, then no need to worry about malaria. Elsewhere in Panama just take normal precautions against mosquitoes, such as covering up and using repellent. Dengue is no joke.
If you’re travelling under fairly sanitary conditions, then IMO typhoid is not needed. Hepatitis A & B depends on your risk factors and behaviours - your choice on advice from your doctor, but start now if you choose to be vaccinated.
Panama is in the midst of a flu epidemic right now, so a flu shot would be a good idea.
Enjoy your trip!

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PJBarrett1944
8/9/2019 18:21 EST

Unless you're going deep into the jungle, no shots are needed to visit Panama.

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ranaverde
8/9/2019 19:46 EST

Interesting anecdotal replies. Don't know how extensively you have traveled. As a PharmD it would be good to have a whole list of vaccines before you travel anywhere.
1. Up to date DPT shot.
2. Hep A for 95% protection for food borne pathogens.
3. Hep. B for blood borne. Both are nearly lifelong immunity, the B needing 2 shots and a 10 year booster.
4. Multivalent pneumococcus shot. Some are two jabs for up to 23 strains.
5. Flu too. You can catch anywhere.

DO NOT BELIEVE ANTI-VACCERS!
Science is not on their side.

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gvida0825
8/9/2019 20:17 EST

If you're Chiriqui and need vaccines, I have been told that you can get them in David. I plan to confirm that next week.

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gvida0825
8/9/2019 20:17 EST

If you're Chiriqui and need vaccines, I have been told that you can get them in David. I plan to confirm that next week.

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ranaverde
8/9/2019 20:22 EST

Keep in mind that most vaccines require two weeks to achieve immunity. So putting it off until you get to David is not optimal.

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gvida0825
8/9/2019 20:33 EST

I already live in Panama. I'm getting vaccines for a trip outside of Central America that won't happen for several weeks.

Thanks.

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pmd2000
8/10/2019 08:58 EST

Thanks! great advise

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StanleySankey
8/10/2019 13:59 EST

Hep A vaccine is always recommended even living in Canada or US. Infected restaurant workers that don't wash their hands properly, can transfer the virus to your food.

For me an ounce of prevention.
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/food-poisoning/hepatitis-a.html

In Panama, once you are resident your annual flu shot is provided free of charge at your local health centre. You can also get your Hep A and B vaccine as well as MMR (Mumps, Measles and Rubella), Yellow Fever was $20 as mentioned not needed for Panama. But my employer required it as they like to send me to exotic places, where it is a requirement to get a visa.

For me the vaccines are an ounce of prevention, lot easier than trying to fix a problem that could have been avoided.

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pmd2000
8/10/2019 14:02 EST

Thanks Stanley. Great feedback from everyone.

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RICOBREEZE802MARK
8/11/2019 01:30 EST

I have been here for 13 years, and I have only had shots for rabies and for a STD. I think I got both from the same person.

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