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El Salvador Layover Yellow Fever Question

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Josh F, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Josh F

    Josh F Level 2 Member Charity Forum Mod

    So we're flying back from Ecuador to Toronto with a layover in El Salvador - SAL (50 minutes) on Avianca. With where we're going in Ecuador we don't need the vaccination. However, I'm getting very conflicting information whether we need it transiting SAL. My understanding seems to be that we don't need the vaccine for transit, but if we miss our connection we wouldn't be able to enter El Salvador. However, I've seen some reports that we'd need it just to transit. Does anyone have any knowledge on this?
     
  2. projectx

    projectx Level 2 Member

    If you can't enter El Salvador without it, I would get it. It wouldn't take much to miss a 50 minute connection.
     
  3. heavenlyjane

    heavenlyjane Level 2 Member

  4. Panache

    Panache Level 2 Member

    If you are not leaving the airport terminal, the risk of those kinds of diseases is practically nil anywhere.
     
  5. Josh F

    Josh F Level 2 Member Charity Forum Mod

    The problem is it's a) expensive (could be around $1000 for the 4 of us between consult/vaccine) and b) hard to find anyone who has it in stock

    https://www.iamat.org/country/el-salvador/risk/yellow-fever

    But I'm flying from Ecuador and transiting El Salvador - so I think this applies

    I'm not worried about getting Yellow Fever - I'm worried about not being able to board my plane to El Salvador or perhaps not being able to enter El Salvador if we miss our connection to Toronto.
     
  6. SanDiego1K

    SanDiego1K Level 2 Member

    I can't speak to whether you need yellow fever vaccine to enter El Salvador. However, IF it is required and IF you miss your onward flight, it will be no help to get the shot in El Salvador. It requires 8 to 10 days to take effect.

    I've done a lot of research on yellow fever vaccine this past week due to upcoming travel. The vaccine that is approved by the FDA for use in the USA has been out of stock since mid 2017. A new factory is under construction. It will be fall 2018 before the vaccine is available again. The FDA has agreed to the very effective vaccine that is used in Europe to be used in the US. Only 250 locations are available for shots. There is a list on the CDC website, though it is tricky to find.

    If you have ever had a yellow fever shot, the CDC has determined that it is good for your lifetime. It used to be that they recommended booster shots every 10 years. Studies have now been done that show this doesn't improve protection. The requirement for boosters was removed in 2016. Fortunately, we keep track of our vaccinations on World Health cards where I spotted record of our yellow fever vaccinations in 2004.

    https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/news-announcements/yellow-fever-vaccine-access

    Also:
    https://www.iamat.org/country/el-salvador/risk/yellow-fever

    Validity of certificate
    A Yellow Fever certificate is valid 10 days after vaccination.

    The World Health Organization announced that as of 11 July 2016, existing and new Yellow Fever vaccination certificates are valid for life. Countries can no longer require travellers to show proof of re-vaccination or a booster dose as a condition of entry. Travellers should note that this new regulation may not be honoured by all border authorities during the transition phase.
     
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  7. SanDiego1K

    SanDiego1K Level 2 Member

    I note you are flying to Toronto so assume you'd be looking for the vaccination there. There is the same shortage of the vaccine in Canada as in the US:

    https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/travel-health/yellow-fever.html

    Still, given that the shot is now good for your lifetime, you might consider getting it now (if you can find a source) in order to have peace of mind on your upcoming trip.
     
  8. Panache

    Panache Level 2 Member

    While I haven't entered El Salvador, I have traveled extensively in Colombia, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras and have never been asked to show a Yellow Fever certificate, even after coming from/going to remote areas. 50 min in SAL seem reasonable, the terminal is pretty small, and I have done short connections like that there for southbound flights toward Guatemela and Colombia. However, if your flight is US-bound, as of 1 year ago there always was an extra layer of security (all passengers+carry-ons got hand searched, no x-ray machines available) for flights departing toward the US, and that would take a good while in line. Not sure if they still do it, but given that SAL is so dangerous, I would imagine that is still the case. Not sure about Canada-bound flights, but I would assume they do the same?
     
  9. Josh F

    Josh F Level 2 Member Charity Forum Mod

    Thank you - that's helpful. There is 1 clinic near me - so I'll check with them.

    I'll try to check on that and see if we need the extra screening.
     
  10. heavenlyjane

    heavenlyjane Level 2 Member

    Isn't this something that your airline can help you with? After all, there's a plane full of passengers in the same situation as you.
     
  11. Josh F

    Josh F Level 2 Member Charity Forum Mod

    Yes (I do have an e-mail in to them) - but how many times have you been told the wrong thing by an airline CSR?
     

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