Central America 2021-04-23T18:31:17-04:00


(Mexico and the Caribbean have similar recommendations)

Preventable disease “highlights”:

Common vaccine-preventable diseases present in Central America (See below). Malaria is present in some areas, as is Yellow Fever (Panama). Zika and Dengue, both carried by mosquitoes, also pose major health issues. Although a new vaccination to prevent Dengue exists, it is only helpful to people who both live in countries with Dengue and have had the disease in the past. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine that effectively prevents Zika (yet). This disease is still a major issue for pregnant travelers, despite a possible recent worldwide decline in cases. You can help prevent Zika with proper insect avoidance measures.

Specific Vaccinations available in the US for trips to Central America:


(from contaminated food or water) The vaccine is recommended for specific regions of a few Central American countries. Generally, if you are visiting areas with sanitation issues, spending an extended time camping/hiking, working in healthcare-related situations, or traveling to an area with an outbreak.

Hepatitis A:

(from contaminated food or water) The vaccine is recommended for all travelers to Central America.

Hepatitis B:

(from contaminated bodily fluids or medical instruments) The vaccine is recommended for those who might be exposed to blood or other body fluids while working in healthcare-related environments or through unprotected intimate contact. The vaccine will also provide protection if you are injured and undergo treatment in a medical facility in Central America.


(from bites, scratches, or saliva exposure involving infected animals) The vaccine is recommended if you work with animals or are spending significant amounts of time outdoors where you may be exposed to animals. This time can include not only hiking, camping, caving, etc., but traveling through or visiting cities/town/villages with high numbers of unvaccinated animals. Children are at even higher risk for rabies than adults.


(from contaminated food or water) The vaccine is recommended for all travelers to Central America.

Yellow Fever:

(from infected mosquitos) The vaccine is recommended for some countries in Central America where there is a risk of Yellow Fever. It is REQUIRED for entrance into a few countries. More commonly, it is REQUIRED when traveling from a country that has Yellow Fever disease to a country that does not (for instance, traveling from Brazil to other S. American countries).

Malaria medication, traveler’s diarrhea treatment, altitude medication, and other prescriptions may also be indicated, depending upon your itinerary.

Country-specific vaccine recommendations for Central America can be found on the CDC Website (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). We provide these vaccines during your appointment at our New York Travel Shot Clinic.

Always make sure you are up to date with your routine vaccinations (Adult Routine Vaccinations). Your vaccination history should be reviewed and updated by anyone you see for travel shots.

Insect avoidance, food and water precautions, avoiding direct contact with animals, and other safety measures can help protect you against diseases where no effective vaccine or medication exists. Many of these diseases are present in Central America, including Zika, Chikungunya, and Dengue.

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