Vaccination and Health Risks
Your doctor can give you important advice and prescribe vaccines and medications to help you stay safe while traveling abroad. The following are vaccinations and medications you and your physician may wish to consider before travel to Panama.
- To have the most benefit, see a doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect. If you are leaving sooner, it is still important to see a doctor as soon as possible for vaccines, medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.
- Your doctor will make specific recommendations, depending on your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, planned activities and other factors. If your travel plans will take you to more than one country during a single trip, be sure to let your health-care provider know. Long-term travelers, such as those who plan to work or study abroad, may also need additional vaccinations as required by their employer or school.
- If you have a chronic medical condition, share your travel plans with any doctors who are currently treating you.
Vaccine or Disease
Vaccination or Treatment Recommendations
|Routine||Recommended if you are not up-to-date with routine shots such as, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.|
|Hepatitis B||Recommended, especially for those who might be exposed to blood or body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment (e.g., for an accident).|
|Japanese Encephalitis||Not endemic|
|Malaria||Present in the provinces of Darien, Kuna Yala (also spelled Guna Yala), Ngäbe-Buglé, and eastern Panama province. None in Panama Oeste, the Canal Zone, and Panama City. Recommended: provinces of Darien, Guna Yala, and eastern Panama province: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or primaquine. Ngäbe-Buglé: Atovaquone-proguanil, chloroquine, doxycycline, mefloquine, or primaquine. Chloroquine not recommended east of the Panama Canal.|
|Meningococcal Meningitis||Not endemic|
|Rabies||Recommended for travelers spending a lot of time outdoors, especially in rural areas, involved in activities such as bicycling, camping, or hiking. Also recommended for travelers with significant occupational risks, such as veterinarians, for long-term travelers and expatriates living in areas with a significant risk of exposure, and for travelers involved in any activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats. Children are considered at higher risk because they tend to play with animals, may receive more severe bites, or may not report bites.|
|Yellow Fever||Proof of yellow fever vaccination required only if travelers is arriving from a country where yellow fever is present and at least 1 year of age, recommended for all travelers at least 9 months of age traveling to all mainland areas east of the area surrounding the canal (the entire provinces of Darién, Emberá, and Kuna Yala [also spelled Guna Yala] and areas of the provinces of Colón and Panamá that are east of the canal). Not recommended for travelers whose itineraries are limited to areas west of the canal, the city of Panama, the canal area itself, and the Balboa Islands (Pearl Islands) and San Blas Islands.|
This document is not a complete medical guide for travelers to this region. Conditions change over time and the recommendations for various countries at the time you travel may differ from the recommendations listed here. Consult with your doctor or visit the CDC website for specific information related to your needs and your medical history; recommendations may differ for pregnant women, young children, and persons who have chronic medical conditions.
Be sure to read the information about all the regions you are planning to visit.