vaccines for travel to Peru
Many people have asked me what kind of vaccines are required for travelling in Peru, so I thought I'd give a short overview of vaccinations required for your Peru vacation.
- Malaria: Contrary to common belief you are not at risk if you only visit the highlands and the coast of Peru. The Andean mountains form an effective barrier against malaria containing mosquitos, since they die above a certain altitude. We visited the areas around Lima, Arequipa (Colca Canyo), Lago Tititcaca (Puno, Juliaca), Cusco, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley. For all those areas Malaria prevention is not required. However if you go further east or north into the lower altitude jungle areas you defenitely need prevention.
- Yellow Fever: I got this vaccine, although one could argue if this is necessary or not when looking at the map of Yello Fever endemic zones released by the CDC (center of disease control):
The side effects of Yellow Fever vaccination are generally flu like. In extremely rare cases you may get Yellow Fever
- Hepatitis A: The Hepatitis virus spreads through unsanitary water and food. It is generally a good idea to have Hepatitis vaccination when you go to Peru.
- Tetanus-Diphtheria: If your last shots are more than 5 or 10 years old, you may need some booster shots.
Side effects: You will feel soar where you have been injected. You can get mild feverish reactions too.
If you are pregnant, please consult your physitian if the vaccines are safe for you.
Make an appointment ahead of time. Some vaccines for traveling need to be injected at least 4 weeks before departure. You will only be given a certain amount of injections per visit, which means you may have to go back a second time. I would recommend to call your local health care provider at least two months ahead of time.
Where should you go
You will need to go to a travel vaccination center. Most health care providers have special clinics for that purpose.
I am with Kaiser Permanente. Fortunately all injections are 100% free (no co-pay).
Avoid getting sick in Peru
Do not drink tab water
Do not eat salad and only eat fruits that you peel yourself.
Only eat thoroughly cooked food
Do not drink beverages with ice
Do not swim in standing waters
Do not handle animals
Avoid dairy products
Use mosquito repellants
Have some steralizing bandages and solutions
These are the most important vaccines required for Peru. However you may need some more shots, depending on where you go and when you got the last of them. You should consider prevention against all diseases transmitted by insects and by unsanitary environments.