Travel in Latin America
The U.S. government does not recommend travel to Colombia, but you may be required to visit for job-related or other reasons. There are rebellious and criminal factions in Bogata and other areas, which could impact your visit. Depending on where you travel in Colombia, you need to get various immunizations to protect yourself against hepatitis A, typhoid, yellow fever and other illnesses.
Check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website to obtain the most recent list of recommended immunizations and to find out how far in advance the vaccinations are needed (see Resources below). Hepatitis A is recommended for all travelers except young children and pregnant women. The yellow fever vaccination is recommended for certain areas in Colombia, but not Bogata. Get immunizations for typhoid and rabies when there is a chance of exposure to these illnesses.
Review the status of your routine immunizations. Tetanus is needed once every 10 years. Get the booster for Mumps-Measles-Rubella (MMR), unless you are pregnant, if you have never received a second vaccination. If you will have contact with local residents, get the hepatitis B immunization.
Find out what the current yellow fever and malaria situation is for Colombia at the World Health Organization (WHO) website (see Resources below). The yellow fever vaccination is recommended when traveling to at-risk areas posted on the WHO website. Take anti-malaria medication for rural jungle areas below elevations of 2,624 feet as listed on the WHO website.
Call your physician at least two months prior to your trip to schedule the immunizations at the optimum time before departure. Receive hepatitis A and other immunizations one month before travel and yellow fever 10 days prior to your trip.
Visit your physician at the properly scheduled times for the various vaccinations. Many combination vaccinations are available, such as hepatitis A+B and hepatitis A+typhoid, to reduce the number of pricks. Oral medications are available for typhoid and malaria prevention.