Shots. Although there are no legally required shots or medications to enter Tanzania from the U.S.A, you will want to have a yellow fever shot recorded in the little yellow international vaccination certificate booklet. The yellow fever shot requirements seem to bouncing around and is always changing. This vaccination is good for 10 years. You must have a yellow fever vaccination to gain entry to South Africa and that is where we would probably transport you in case of medical emergency. So it is a good idea to get it. You will probably want to get certain other vaccinations and medications for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases. Before making any decisions it is important to discuss your travel itinerary with your doctor or nurse before you receive vaccinations. To have the most benefit, see a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your trip. In the case of certain vaccinations that require multiple shots spaced weeks apart, you should allow even more time. Even if you have less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see a health-care provider for needed vaccinations and anti-malaria drugs and other medications. Sometime they offer additional information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling. If your travel plans will take you to more than one country during a single trip, be sure to let your health-care provider know so that you can receive the appropriate vaccinations and information for all of your destinations. Long-term travelers, such as those who plan to work may also need additional vaccinations.Your Normal Prescription Drugs Make sure you bring a good supply and always carry them in your hand luggage. Many drugs available in the USA are not available in Tanzania, so replacing them if they get lost or stolen could be a problem. Make sure you bring more than enough of all medications and testing supplies you need.Malaria This is a big problem in Africa. This disease is no joke and should be taken seriously. Unless you have health considerations, which prevent you from taking prophylactic malaria drugs, you should get on an anti-malaria drug. (But remember to consult your doctor to insure you get on the right prophylactic medication for you.) Once you have the prescription, be sure to take it for the appropriate time before leaving, and stay on the drug for the proper time after you arrive home. Certain precautions can be taken while in the country to aid in the prevention of the disease:
- Avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.
- Use insect repellent. Stay inside at dusk.
- Sleep under netting whenever possible.
- Be especially careful in the cities where people from all over bring a variety of strains of the disease into one location.
- Read about malaria and its prevention and treatment on the Centers for Disease Control website.
Routine Vaccines and Other Information Joy in the Harvest does not make recommendations concerning routine vaccinations. It is really up to you and your doctor to determine what you need for your travels. For more information, the CDC has very specific recommendations for each country in East Africa. Due to the constantly changing situation, we recommend the latest information directly from the CDC website.
- Yellow Fever Vaccinations. In recent years is has often been the only required vaccinations for many nations. Now many nations are no longer requiring it unless you are arriving from an infected yellow fever area. South Africa still requires this vaccination for those arriving from Tanzania. We suggest you have it, as we would likely evacuate you to South Africa in a medical emergency. If you determine you need one, Yellow Fever vaccine is only given at approved vaccination centers. After receiving a vaccine, you should receive an International Certificate of Vaccination (mentioned below) that has been validated by the vaccination center. This certificate becomes valid 10 days after vaccination and lasts for 10 years. You will need this card as proof of vaccination to enter certain countries. Get more information on the CDC website.
- International Certificate of Vaccinations. This is a little yellow book about the size of your passport. It is called a CDC 731. All your immunizations should be recorded in this booklet and then the booklet should be stapled into the back of your passport. There is also space for recording your blood type and eyeglass prescription. Record all important data such as anything to which you are allergic. With the eradication of small pox and the diminished threat from yellow fever, many countries are not requiring proof of vaccinations unless a person is arriving from an infected yellow fever area. This yellow booklet, when properly filled out, is acceptable proof of vaccinations in almost every country. Because regulations of required immunizations are in a state of flux and not all officials know or enforce the most current regulations, we are still recommending our visitors to get this yellow booklet and use it. Right now you will probably not need it to enter Tanzania, however, on my last trip through the Dar airport it was suddenly required again! You can get this from most doctors who give vaccinations for international travel and they are available by using the link provided on the following website: http://bookstore.gpo.gov/collections/vaccination.jsp They are under a dollar a copy but, unfortunately,you have to buy 25 copies in bulk from the government bookstore. Once you get it filled out, before you travel, we recommend that you staple it in the back of your passport. It is far less likely to get lost, stolen or “misplaced” by some official.