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Changes in yellow fever vaccination rules for Zambia

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London, United...
posts: 1,721
reviews: 77
Changes in yellow fever vaccination rules for Zambia

I've received multiple messages (from Wilderness Safaris and Norman Carr Safaris amongst others) about an upcoming change to the yellow fever vaccination requirements for Zambia.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revised the Yellow Fever vaccination recommendations for Africa. The South African Department of Health has issued the following information regarding the requirements for travellers from and to South Africa:

1. Zambia: Returning travellers from South Africa to Zambia and those travelling from Zambia to South Africa will now require proof of Yellow Fever vaccination. Previously, proof of Yellow Fever vaccination was not required.

2. Tanzania: Returning travellers from South Africa to Tanzania and those travelling from Tanzania to South Africa will require proof of Yellow Fever vaccination. This is unchanged from the present regulations.

3. All in-transit passengers between the two destinations, irrespective of the time period in transit, will also require proof of Yellow Fever vaccination.”

Source: South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM)

There is some uncertainty surrounding the implementation of these recommendations - some notices have given a date of July 1 but others have indicated that it may be sooner.

We have been informed that vaccinations is available in Livingstone at US$80.00 and Victoria Falls at US$50.00 per person, and in South Africa at ZAR 430.00 per person, subject to change. However, the yellow fever vaccine takes 10 days to become effective, so to avoid any ambiguity and potential disruption to travel plans we have advised our clients whose itineraries include travel from Zambia to South Africa to get immunised at least 10 days prior to their arrival in Africa and to bring their vaccination certificate for inspection by immigration officials. The international health regulations concerning Yellow Fever are very strict and unvaccinated travellers may be denied entry.

Cheers,

Julian

66 replies to this topic
london
Destination Expert
for Zambia
posts: 2,549
11. Re: Changes in yellow fever vaccination rules for Zambia

My parents are both over 60 and have had the jab but they have had it before, more than once, so I guess there's not as much risk of an adverse reaction.

Dallas
posts: 725
reviews: 15
12. Re: Changes in yellow fever vaccination rules for Zambia

Does anyone have any thoughts on why we were required to have YF when making the land crossing from Malawi to Zambia? Our transit was U.S.A. via LHR & JNB to Lilongwe. 24 hrs in Lilongwe, then departure for Zambia safari.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, our safari company would not let us board without proof and at the border, Zambian officials recorded date, vaccine lot #, etc. prior to letting us through.

Is the requirement just different at land borders than airline arrivals? Just curious.....

london
Destination Expert
for Zambia
posts: 2,549
13. Re: Changes in yellow fever vaccination rules for Zambia

I have also been checked coming through that border.

Many countries have rules that require the certificate only if you are coming from a YF infected area. Although Malawi doesn't seem to be on the WHO list, it's the Zambian authorities that make the rules- so if Zambia deems Malawi to be an infected area, they can ask. If you fly into Lusaka direct from London it's not asked for, or if you enter via a land border from Botswana or Zim. It's definitely not just a land border vs airline arrivals thing as I've come in from Bots and Zim and never been asked.

Sheffield, United...
posts: 2,597
14. Re: Changes in yellow fever vaccination rules for Zambia

<<Does anyone have any thoughts on why we were required to have YF when making the land crossing from Malawi to Zambia>>

This has been on-going for many years, at one time it was pot luck whether or not you were asked, depended on the mood of the officials on duty, and usually a $20 bill was a substitute for a YF cert!

But it seems that they have now “firmed up” the requirement, despite Malawi not being on the W.H.O. country list. Possibly it is to do with Malawi being “next door” to Tanzania, which IS a listed country and being only a comparatively short distance from Zambia, with a lot of cross border traffic.

Who knows how the mind works there! B.T.I.A.

Ivan

posts: 3
15. Re: Changes in yellow fever vaccination rules for Zambia

I am Travelling to/from Zambia from Namibia. However when I leave Africa for Canada I will fly through JHB south Africa. Even though I am not directly coming from Zambia and will NOT be leaving the airport in JHB, and I STILL required to have the YF vaccination having been to Zambia three weeks prior? I have seen mixed responses.... Confusing.

Sheffield, United...
posts: 2,597
16. Re: Changes in yellow fever vaccination rules for Zambia

Hi the critical phrase here is "having been to Zambia three weeks prior"

If you have been out of Zambia for a minimum of 6 days (YF incubation period) then you will not need YF on arrival in SA. (provided of course you haven’t shown symptoms of YF !!)

Ivan

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 594
reviews: 86
17. Re: Changes in yellow fever vaccination rules for Zambia

I would be having the injection abroad rather than in Africa as who knows where the needles have been. It all depends who you strike at customs. We went to Kenya a few years ago and its not compulsory to have Yellow fever but it is when you return to Australia, so we had to have it. My friend left her Yellow Fever certificate at home and Australian customs weren't too concerned on return. You are damned if you do and if you don't. It depends if you get a grumpy Customs Officer or padantic officer? I think my friend was not a risk as we arrived in Victoria in winter and there are no mosquitos. If she had arrived in Queensland and mosquitos were prevalent it would have been a different matter. It can depend on the season. I you are arriving when mosquitos are at risk customs will be strict.

Sheffield, United...
posts: 2,597
18. Re: Changes in yellow fever vaccination rules for Zambia

Hi Oz don’t regard Zambia as a YF country, so no need for YF. only SA have unilaterally decided to classify Zambia as a risk

Ivan.

Panama
posts: 3
reviews: 8
19. Re: Changes in yellow fever vaccination rules for Zambia

If you are in Transit you don't need it that is from our experience. I mean flying from UK via JNB to Zimbia is not required. On the other hand we may have got away with it. Was never asked for since we where flying in transit.

San Francisco...
posts: 5
reviews: 3
20. Re: Changes in yellow fever vaccination rules for Zambia

HI, I have the same question and it's so confusing. I suspect they won't make a big deal about it. I am travelling through Namibia and ending my trip in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe where I will spend the last 2 nights of my trip. I was hoping to go across to the Zambian side to go to Devils pool, but I really don't want to have to get a vaccine for what will be a half day adventure. I will be flying from vic falls via JNB back the United States.

Does any one have experience of going across the border briefly and not getting the vaccine?

Also, does anyone know if I can obtain a Zambian visa last minute? I am a Canadian citizen and will be traveling with an American citizen.

Thanks for the help!

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