Vaccinations for South America
If you wish to enter certain countries in South America, the Yellow Fever vaccination is a requirement. There are also other vaccinations which are not legally required but should also be strongly considered for your personal health, depending on where you plan to travel.
For the short-term traveller the recommended vaccinations for South America are Hepatitis A and Typhoid (food and water borne diseases) and Tetanus, Diphtheria and Poliomyelitis (childhood diseases). For those travelling for an extended period or to more rural areas of South America cover against Hepatitis B, Rabies and Meningococcal Meningitis may also be recommended.
Short-term tourists should start their vaccines approximately four to six weeks before they intend to travel. However, if you are venturing to more rural regions of South America or camping and trekking you may consider attending your initial consultation earlier.
The W.H.O. report Malaria transmission throughout South America in certain regions and you may be prescribed Malaria Prophylaxis depending on your itinerary.
If you are planning to travel to particularly warm destinations, then there is always a risk from food and water borne diseases. In South America travellers are encouraged to eat hot, freshly cooked meals, to avoid cold meals of lettuce and salads and to never eat the under-cooked bivalve shellfish (mussels, oysters, clams etc.) which are commonly found in these regions. Drinking sealed bottled water bought in a good quality hotel or supermarket is a wise precaution. Fruit that you can peel yourself is also a much safer option than if someone else has already done this for you.
All travellers to South America will need to be seen for a detailed medical consultation to ensure that they have appropriate advice and protection for the duration of their trip.