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(21 Posts)
Madmeg Sun 03-Sep-23 19:57:54

DH and I have a new hobby - cruising. Never thought we'd enjoy it so much. We've done five cruises including a World and made fantastic friends for life. BUT we are still newbies really. On the last cruise there was a special deal if you booked on board for a South America cruise including sailing up/down the Amazon. Two couples we have got to know booked so we did the same. It was only afterwards we heard about Yellow Fever in that region. Our friends were vaccinated years ago and so it's not a problem for them. But we are now 72 and 77 and apparently it isn't advisable to have the vaccine at our age.

Do we just risk it? Cover up well, use the Deet and cross our fingers? Or would you cancel (and lose the 10% deposit which is not peanuts)?

tobyianathekid Sun 03-Sep-23 21:30:02

Just be careful they sometimes check for your vaccine upon entry similar to Covid

Madmeg Sun 03-Sep-23 22:45:01

Oh, I've been assured that vaccination isn't compulsory. Otherwise we could get our deposit back for the cruise line misleading us.

SueDonim Sun 03-Sep-23 22:55:36

You can apparently have the vaccine if you’re fit and well.

Sparklefizz Mon 04-Sep-23 08:04:54

Many years ago I had to have the Yellow Fever vaccine in order to visit South Africa. It was compulsory, I was young, but I had a really horrible reaction to it. Just a word of warning ......

Madmeg Mon 04-Sep-23 08:27:36

SueDonim - that link appears to be from the NHS Scotland site - the England site says over 60s can only have the vaccination if travel to a risk area is "unavoidable". I'm not sure what the implications of that are other than "avoid the risk by not going there". Also seems odd if NHS Scotland have different guidance than that in England.

Katie59 Mon 04-Sep-23 08:32:07

Yellow fever vaccine is usually needed if you have been in an infected country for more than a set period, airport transit is not counted. I was vaccinated as a precaution for travel in Africa because crossing land borders can be very uncertain and certificates can be demanded.
For Brazil no certificate is required but vaccination is advised, if I was travelling overland I would have the vaccine, if the cruise involves shore excursions there will be a risk too. On the cruise ship it depends how efficiently they can keep mosquitoes at bay, to be safe you need the vaccination.

EkwaNimitee Mon 04-Sep-23 08:40:52

I needed a yellow fever vaccination about 4 years ago for a South American cruise. The certificate needed to be available in my passport and would be checked on entry in the country that required it. I was very concerned because an eminent and aged (80year old?) immunologist had died as a result of the jab shortly before. Fortunately I was able to find my 25 year old original vaccination certificate and so went on the cruise. There was no way I was going to risk the jab (though I am a wimp!).
You need to carefully check the entry requirements of each country if you want to go ashore. I imagine the cruise line will tell you it's not compulsory because obviously you could just stay on board, which would be a shame.

EkwaNimitee Mon 04-Sep-23 08:44:26

I wasn't visiting Brazil btw but Costa Rica, Panama and those countries down the western side. I think it was the latter that required the certificate because I was transiting Panama.

TerriBull Mon 04-Sep-23 08:48:06

When we went to South America, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil we were told to get a Yellow Fever vaccination, but at the time, for some reason none were available. However, we were lucky we entered Argentina first and they didn't require that coming from England and neither did Brazil as that was our second port of call and in any case we 'd been in urban areas, apart from Iguazu which we were told was pretty safe, I did get all manner of repellents which contained an effective element called "deet" in combating bites. When we were in Brazil we didn't go anywhere near The Pantanal or the Amazon where it's advisable to have the vaccination I think.

We have friends who did that cruise up the Amazon to Manaus, I don't think they had the YF injection either, but can't swear to that. Yes apparently once over a certain age it can produce a nasty reaction.

Maggiemaybe Mon 04-Sep-23 09:21:05

The U.K. government advice four years ago was that we’d need to prove that we’d had the yellow fever jab on entry to Brazil, so we had it before our South America land tour. We were both poorly for a day or two afterwards but nothing too drastic. We were 65 and 70 at the time.

As it happens we were never asked about the vaccine and only two other people on the tour had read about the guidance and complied with it.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 04-Sep-23 09:46:36

I would rather lose my deposit than my health.

Esmay Mon 04-Sep-23 10:06:43

I've had a yellow fever injection and started to pass out before I got home .
Afterwards , my arm was red and tender and I was a bit fluey for nearly three days .

So my advice - if that's my reaction to the vaccine what's the illness like ?

And rather than ruin my holiday - I'd far rather suffer the vaccine .

Covering yourself with insect repellant is a great idea , but you can sweat it off or it comes off when swimming .

Hetty58 Mon 04-Sep-23 10:21:00

Madmeg, you would have to have a thorough medical assessment for suitability, before the vaccine, if you're over 60. I'd plan some recovery time as well.

Without the vaccine, would you be able to relax and enjoy yourself while 'risking it' and relying on repellents?

Personally, I'd just cancel and lose the deposit.

SueDonim Mon 04-Sep-23 13:28:27

How odd about the difference between the advice in Scotland v England! Though Scotland does like to be different.

We had no reaction to Yellow Fever jabs (we lived in W Africa) even though my Dh was over 60 at the time.

Grantanow Wed 06-Sep-23 17:32:45

We cruised up the Amazon to Manaus on the old P&O Victoria (an ex-Swedish America Line liner) and we had to have YF vaccinations for Brazil. We were about 60 at the time and had no problems.

Madmeg Wed 06-Sep-23 17:52:19

Unfortunately DH is 77 and I am 72. We consider ourselves pretty healthy but the Travel Insurance firms don't always agree! I think a visit to the experts is needed. My question really is if you can't have the jab would you still go at our ages?

Email from the cruise line today tells us we need either a Vaccination Certificate or a Certificate of Exemption. So money will be going out one way or another.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 06-Sep-23 18:04:20

It looks like the cruise line have made your decision for you. You could try arguing that this condition was not made known to you when you booked.

Allegretto Wed 06-Sep-23 18:04:21

We had yellow fever injections when we were in our early 60s and felt fine afterwards. I’m not suggesting that they would be fine for everyone- maybe we were just lucky.

Katie59 Wed 06-Sep-23 19:53:46

OH is 75 in good health I asked him, he said no problem but would have it 6 weeks before, in case there was a reaction.
Of course if you had a serious reaction you would be ill and could claim off your travel insurance.

Madmeg Wed 06-Sep-23 19:54:17

We need to discuss the risks with the experts. GSM, the cruise is only saying we either need to be jabbed or be exempted. I am not at all sure which is more worrying!!