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 Colombia.
- 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 A||Recommended because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Colombia, regardless of where you are eating or staying.|
|Hepatitis B||Recommended, especially for those who have sexual contact, contaminated needles, blood products, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.|
|Japanese Encephalitis||Not endemic|
|Malaria||Recommended: All areas <1,700 m (5,577 ft) are areas of risk of transmission. Recommended vaccines: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. None in Bogotá, Cartagena, and Medellin.|
|Meningococcal Meningitis||Not endemic|
|Rabies||Recommended for travelers involved in outdoor and other activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites, people who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers), people who are taking long trips or moving to Chad, and children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.|
|Yellow Fever||Required if traveling from a country with risk of YFV transmission and e1 year of age, including transit >12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of YFV transmission. Recommended for all travelers at least 9 months of age traveling to the following departments <2,300 m in elevation: Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlántico, Bolivar, Boyacá, Caldas, Caquetá, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Choco (only the municipalities of Acandí, Juradó, Riosucio, and Unguía), Códoba, Cundinamarca, Guainía, Guaviare, Huila, La Guajira (only the municipalities of Albania, Barrancas, Dibulla, Distracción, El Molino, Fonseca, Hatonuevo, La Jagua del Pilar, Maicao, Manaure, Riohacha, San Juan del Cesar, Urumita, and Villanueva), Magdalena, Meta, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Risaralda, San Andrés and Providencia, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Vaupés, and Vichada. Generally not recommended for travelers to the cities of Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena, and Medellín. Not recommended for travelers whose itineraries are limited to all areas >2,300 m (7,546 ft) in elevation, the department of San Andrès y Providencia, and the capital city of Bogotá.|
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.