Do you need vaccinations to go to Peru?

It is advisable to get vaccinated before traveling to Peru. ©John Vachon

If you are thinking of moving to Peru, or even just visiting for a vacation, it is a good idea to be up-to-date and informed on the vaccinations that may be required or recommended for travel. In the case of Peru, there are no specifically “required” vaccinations, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided a list of suggested vaccines that you should consider before boarding a plane. Check with your doctor or visit a travel clinic to take the necessary precautions and ensure you stay healthy while away from home.

The following are the recommended vaccines for traveling to Peru:

  • Yellow Fever- The yellow fever vaccination is not necessary for travel in Southern Peru or along Peru’s Western coast. However, if you plan on visiting the regions of Amazonas, Madre de Dios, San Martin, Loreto, Pasco, Junín, Cusco, Ucayali, Puno, or Huánaco, at elevations below 2,300 m (7,546 ft), it is strongly recommended since the disease can be transmitted through mosquitoes in those areas. You should receive this vaccine at least 10 days before your trip.
  • Typhoid- Typhoid fever can be transmitted through contaminated food or water. This vaccination is recommended especially if you are adventurous when tasting the local cuisine, or if you will be visiting small towns and rural areas.
  • Hepatitis A- The vaccination for Hepatitis A is recommended because it can be transmitted through contaminated food or water, independent of where you are staying.
  • Hepatitis B- Hepatitis B is transmitted through sexual contact, blood products, and contaminated needles. For that reason, if there is a possibility that you will have sex with a new partner, undergo any medical procedures, or get a tattoo or piercing, it is strongly recommended that you receive your Hepatitis B vaccination before travelling.
  • Rabies- The rabies vaccination isn’t strictly necessary in Peru, though it is recommended for travelers that intend to participate in outdoor activities in remote areas that may put them in contact with animals, such as spelunking. Moreover, it is recommended for people who will be working with or in close proximity to animals.
  • Routine Vaccinations- It is always a good idea to check with your primary physician and make sure that you are up-to-date on all routine vaccinations before travelling. Routine vaccinations may include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), chickenpox, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, polio, and the annual flu shot.

Besides the above-described vaccinations, when traveling in some regions of Peru you should take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites, which can transmit malaria. For

Vaccination recommendations in Peru. © USAID International.

many, this means applying insect repellent when spending time outdoors, and taking prescription malaria medicine before, during, and after your trip to at-risk areas. In Peru, those areas that pose a risk of malaria include Iquitos, Puerto Maldonado, and the remote eastern regions of La Libertad and Lambayeque. In recent years, there has also been a resurgence of dengue fever, also transmitted by mosquito bites.

But what if you’re already in Peru and want to get vaccinated or obtain malaria medication? Sometimes our travel plans can change and take us by surprise. Perhaps you didn’t get your yellow fever vaccination and now you’re considering a trip to the jungle. There are many different clinics in Lima and in other cities of Peru that will help you get the vaccinations you need. A simple google search will provide a plethora of results.


Vaccination clinics in Peru.

Some clinics to consider in Lima include BioVac Centro de Vacunación International (Calle Coronel Inclán 221, Miraflores) and Clínica Javier Prado (Calle Los Geranios 160, Lince). Schedule an appointment and go prepared with your vaccination history. The doctors at your clinic of choice should be able to tell you exactly which vaccinations you should receive.

We’d like to hear from you. What vaccinations did you get to prepare for your trip? Why? Tell us about it in our forum topic: Which vaccinations do I need, if any, for Peru