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Vaccinations to Travel to Panama

    • Plan ahead to make your trip to Panama a healthy one.Atardecer bah?-a de Panama image by MicMav from Fotolia.com

      Panama's warm temperatures and famous canal make it a popular destination for travelers, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a number of vaccines to help make the trip a healthy one. The CDC suggests visiting a health care provider at least four to six weeks before your scheduled departure date so any vaccines you receive have time to take effect. The centers also note that conditions in countries can change, so CDC recommendations are subject to change, too.

    Routine Vaccinations

    • Routine vaccines are recommended for everyone, even those who don't travel. The CDC considers the following vaccines routine: influenza, chickenpox, polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT). Consult with your physician to make sure you're up to date.

    Yellow Fever

    • The CDC recommends a yellow fever vaccination for all travelers older than 9 months who are going to certain parts of Panama. If you are heading to the provinces of Darien, Kuna Yala, Comarca Embera and areas in Panama east of the Canal Zone, the CDC recommends a vaccination 10 days before travel. The yellow fever vaccine is not deemed necessary for travel to the Canal Zone, Panama City and San Blas Islands. If you are coming from a country where yellow fever is present, Panama requires proof of vaccination.

    Hepatitis A

    • The CDC recommends this vaccine for people who are traveling to countries with an intermediate or high level of hepatitis A virus infection if you might be exposed to the virus through food or water. It warns exposure is also possible in developing countries when following "standard" tourist itineraries. Current conditions are available by consulting the CDC's Travelers' Health Yellow Book map, available online.

    Hepatitis B

    • The CDC recommends this vaccine for people who are traveling to countries with intermediate to high levels of endemic HBV transmission. It's especially important for those who "might be exposed to blood or body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population or be exposed through medical treatment," according to the CDC. Current conditions are available by consulting the online map in the CDC's Travelers' Health Yellow Book.

    Typhoid

    • The CDC recommends this vaccine for anyone traveling to Mexico and Central America. It's especially important for those planning visits to smaller cities and villages and rural areas or those who are planning to stay with friends or relatives and risk exposure through food or water.

    Rabies

    • The CDC recommends this vaccine only for people whose travels might bring them into direct contact with bats, carnivores and other mammals. Wildlife professionals, veterinarians and adventure travelers may fall into this category.

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