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Vaccinations for World Cruise


RlyLvn
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I have a question regarding Vacinations.  We have been to South Africa in the past so we have had all the usual vaccinations except the dreaded yellow fever which wasnt needed on that trip.

 

On he Viking World Cruise next year we are going to Kenya and Tanzania prior to South Africa.  South Africa requires a yellow fever cerificate fo anyone who has travelled through countries exposed to yellow fever, Kenya and Tanzania are two of those countries.

 

The Yellow Fever Vaccination is not recommended for anyone over 60 due to increase side effects, unless you live in those countries or have long term exposure.

 

I have asked Viking to clarify this and am waiting for a response.  From researching this it looks like you can get in with a Physician letter explaining you are high risk and therefore did not receive the vaccination.

 

Any past World Cruisers had this issue or have any information on this?

 

Thanks, D.  

 

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I don’t know why you dread it?  Have you had a yellow fever vaccination in the past?  Medical opinion has changed, and it is now considered a life long vaccination.  I was about to renew mine after 10 years, but now won’t have to. That saves $$!

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DW and I are going to Africa later this summer.  We are both in our 70s.  As part of our prep we were told to get the yellow fever vax by both our family doctor and by the county health department.  We received the vax 3 weeks ago with no reaction at all.

 

Regarding your world cruise.  We went RTW in 2023 and the only vax that we got was a COVID booster.  No vaccinations were required anywhere that we stopped.

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2 hours ago, RlyLvn said:

 

I have a question regarding Vacinations.  We have been to South Africa in the past so we have had all the usual vaccinations except the dreaded yellow fever which wasnt needed on that trip.

 

On he Viking World Cruise next year we are going to Kenya and Tanzania prior to South Africa.  South Africa requires a yellow fever cerificate fo anyone who has travelled through countries exposed to yellow fever, Kenya and Tanzania are two of those countries.

 

The Yellow Fever Vaccination is not recommended for anyone over 60 due to increase side effects, unless you live in those countries or have long term exposure.

 

I have asked Viking to clarify this and am waiting for a response.  From researching this it looks like you can get in with a Physician letter explaining you are high risk and therefore did not receive the vaccination.

 

Any past World Cruisers had this issue or have any information on this?

 

Thanks, D.  

 

I have had the Yellow Fever vaccination, while my wife did not.  She was deemed not able to safely receive the vaccine.  She received an "Immunization Exemption Letter for Yellow Fever" from the physician of the Travel Clinic, which MUST be written in a very specific manner as prescribed by WHO, and carried inside the "yellow card", i.e. International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis.  I would encourage you to contact a certified/approved Travel Health Provider for your personal needs.  There is CDC destination advice on their website, and I found our approved travel health clinic several years ago at www.travelhealthresource.com/clinics.  Good Luck...we have loved our land-based tours in Africa.

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4 hours ago, Port Power said:

I don’t know why you dread it?  Have you had a yellow fever vaccination in the past?  Medical opinion has changed, and it is now considered a life long vaccination.  I was about to renew mine after 10 years, but now won’t have to. That saves $$!

 

The reason the OP is dreading the YF vaccination is because it is a live vaccine and the risks for those over 60 increase significantly. When over 60, the risks are increasingly potentially life threatening.

 

Having received my first YF vaccine at only 17, I have received a number of boosters at 10 yr intervals. My last vaccine was at 55 yrs of age, when they advised the vaccine was good for life, but they had no definitive proof that previous vaccines would be included in the new validity.

 

Since there was no guarantee my previous vaccinations would be accepted by all countries we planned to visit, I opted to get another dose. Remember, when it comes to vaccines, the final decision isn't your country's medical opinion, it is the opinion of the immigration official in each country you visit.  

 

 

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Thank you so much for your detailed responses.  This is very helpful and very much appreciated.  We do have an approved Travel Health Provider from our land trip to Africa a few years ago.

 

We have heard from others that they were very sick with the vaccine.  Glad to hear you didnt have any side effects Port Power.

 

tigerfan75 how did you tolerate the vaccine? 

 

Thanks again.

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4 hours ago, MaineYachtClub said:

DW and I are going to Africa later this summer.  We are both in our 70s.  As part of our prep we were told to get the yellow fever vax by both our family doctor and by the county health department.  We received the vax 3 weeks ago with no reaction at all.

 

Regarding your world cruise.  We went RTW in 2023 and the only vax that we got was a COVID booster.  No vaccinations were required anywhere that we stopped.

 

I certainly hope the medical professionals giving you the YF vaccination clearly outlines that YF is a live vaccine and the risks increase significantly when over 60. If you are privy to the same information I have been provided, you are braver than me. I have received multiple YF shots since being a teenager, but at 67 would never accept the potential risks of receiving a live vaccine, with the inherent life-threatening risks.

 

Stating you only required a COVID booster for a World Cruise is meaningless without providing information on your previous vaccinations and itinerary.

 

BTW - if you visit a competent travel medicine doctor, they don't just ask for your itinerary (ports of call), they want specific details on any tours and overland tours you are planning. Surely, your family doctor and county health department asked these questions. Our pre-World Cruise cruise visits to a specialist doctor lasted about 1 hr, while they researched every port and tour.

 

Yes, we have completed 3 RTW trips and had to cancel another one. I also spent 35+ years at sea.

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Thanks Heidi13. sounds like you have certainly had your share.

 

I dont want to risk it if I dont need too.  We are in Zanzibar for 2 days and Mombasa for 2 days.

Having said that I dont want to contract Yellow Fever either.

 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, RlyLvn said:

Thank you so much for your detailed responses.  This is very helpful and very much appreciated.  We do have an approved Travel Health Provider from our land trip to Africa a few years ago.

 

We have heard from others that they were very sick with the vaccine.  Glad to hear you didnt have any side effects Port Power.

 

tigerfan75 how did you tolerate the vaccine? 

 

Thanks again.

 

I have probably received more YF vaccines than most posters. Never had an issue with any of them, with my last one being at 55. Now at 67, based on the risks of the live vaccine, I will never get another YF vaccine.

 

Personally, I prefer to research risks rather than the experiences of a tiny group of recipients. Rather than polling CC posters, I suggest discussing the risks with a specialised medical professional.

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2 minutes ago, RlyLvn said:

Thanks Heidi13. sounds like you have certainly had your share.

 

I dont want to risk it if I dont need too.  We are in Zanzibar for 2 days and Mombasa for 2 days.

Having said that I dont want to contract Yellow Fever either.

 

 

As I posted previously, please visit a specialised travel medical professional, who has access to the latest WHO recommendations. During our doctor visits, they researched the latest recommendations for each specific area we were visiting.

 

In many cases, cities were low risk, the risks increased when you left suburbia and into the bush.

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Got it!  I agree!  We are in Santa Barbara, CA and have a Travel and Tropical Medicine Center.

 

We will make an apt. and take the 120 day itinerary with us as well as discuss our plans for excursions.

 

I think I will save the bush for South Africa and stay in cities in Kenya and Tanzania.

 

I was concerned that it would be a deal breaker not to have the vaccination.  Glad to get confirmation on this forum that a letter will cover us.  

 

Onward and Upward!

 

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14 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

I certainly hope the medical professionals giving you the YF vaccination clearly outlines that YF is a live vaccine and the risks increase significantly when over 60. If you are privy to the same information I have been provided, you are braver than me. I have received multiple YF shots since being a teenager, but at 67 would never accept the potential risks of receiving a live vaccine, with the inherent life-threatening risks.

 

Stating you only required a COVID booster for a World Cruise is meaningless without providing information on your previous vaccinations and itinerary.

 

BTW - if you visit a competent travel medicine doctor, they don't just ask for your itinerary (ports of call), they want specific details on any tours and overland tours you are planning. Surely, your family doctor and county health department asked these questions. Our pre-World Cruise cruise visits to a specialist doctor lasted about 1 hr, while they researched every port and tour.

 

Yes, we have completed 3 RTW trips and had to cancel another one. I also spent 35+ years at sea.

Hi Heidi,

 

Yes, we spent almost 2 hours with the travel clinic nurse going over our planned overland safari, which includes significant time in the bush with several nights of camping.  The YF vaccine was recommended.

 

This discussion made me curious, so I did some checking and found a report from the NIH on YF vaccine risks for seniors.  The conclusions lead me to believe that the whole YF vaccine scare is way overblown.

 

The report does say that for people over 70 the risk of a "severe adverse event" (SAE) is 5 to 6 times higher for people over 70.  First reaction is: YIKES!!  Then if you read further, the numbers tell a very less frightening story.  The facts show 14 SAE cases per 1,000,000 vaccinations of people over 70.  I am not worried about those odds in the least.

 

Here's a link to the report:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9147422/

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16 hours ago, RlyLvn said:

Thank you so much for your detailed responses.  This is very helpful and very much appreciated.  We do have an approved Travel Health Provider from our land trip to Africa a few years ago.

 

We have heard from others that they were very sick with the vaccine.  Glad to hear you didnt have any side effects Port Power.

 

tigerfan75 how did you tolerate the vaccine? 

 

Thanks again.

RlyLvn, I was age 59, and tolerated the YF vaccination as well as any other jab...Perhaps a sore arm like one would experience in a flu shot.

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2 hours ago, MaineYachtClub said:

Hi Heidi,

 

Yes, we spent almost 2 hours with the travel clinic nurse going over our planned overland safari, which includes significant time in the bush with several nights of camping.  The YF vaccine was recommended.

 

This discussion made me curious, so I did some checking and found a report from the NIH on YF vaccine risks for seniors.  The conclusions lead me to believe that the whole YF vaccine scare is way overblown.

 

The report does say that for people over 70 the risk of a "severe adverse event" (SAE) is 5 to 6 times higher for people over 70.  First reaction is: YIKES!!  Then if you read further, the numbers tell a very less frightening story.  The facts show 14 SAE cases per 1,000,000 vaccinations of people over 70.  I am not worried about those odds in the least.

 

Here's a link to the report:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9147422/

 

When we received the last YF vaccinations in 2015, the doctor used our Health Canada data when reviewing the risk of contracting serious disease, including multi-organ failure from the vaccine. Can't recall what the numbers were at that time, but just checked and they state 2 cases per 100,000 (60 - 69) and 3 cases per 100,000 (>70). Overall, about 65% of these serious illness cases are fatal.

 

Although the risks increase significantly at 60, I agree they are still fairly low. That's why it is important knowing exactly where you are going, so you can accurately determine the risk of contracting YF and compare to the vaccine risk.

 

Based on a risk analysis, which considers the frequency and consequence, I personally don't consider the concerns with the YF vaccine to be overblown. Although the frequency of issues is low, the potential consequences are high, with the resultant being a moderate risk.

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18 hours ago, RlyLvn said:

Hey Heidi13 which cruise line did you do your two World Cruises on?

 

Did the first one R/T Sydney with Princess in 2015 and the 2nd with Viking in 2020. We also booked the 2023 Viking, but had to cancel.

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On 5/26/2024 at 12:42 PM, Heidi13 said:

 

When we received the last YF vaccinations in 2015, the doctor used our Health Canada data when reviewing the risk of contracting serious disease, including multi-organ failure from the vaccine. Can't recall what the numbers were at that time, but just checked and they state 2 cases per 100,000 (60 - 69) and 3 cases per 100,000 (>70). Overall, about 65% of these serious illness cases are fatal.

 

Although the risks increase significantly at 60, I agree they are still fairly low. That's why it is important knowing exactly where you are going, so you can accurately determine the risk of contracting YF and compare to the vaccine risk.

 

Based on a risk analysis, which considers the frequency and consequence, I personally don't consider the concerns with the YF vaccine to be overblown. Although the frequency of issues is low, the potential consequences are high, with the resultant being a moderate risk.

I can visualize the "heat map"

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