Getting a Free Yellow Fever Vaccine in Colombia

The yellow fever vaccine is neccesary for travel to some countries such as Australia or Panama if you have been in a country where you could possibly come in contact with the infection, such as Colombia.
Some sources online say that the vaccine is required to enter Colombia but this isn’t true. You can fly into the country without expecting to be asked about the vaccine. What’s more is you can get the vaccine in Colombia, for free!

This was a welcome discovery.
I originally went about trying to get the vaccine in the US in New Orleans since I was working there before I went to Colombia. I enquired for the vaccine at a pharmacy, quite a funny scene now that I recall it. I was wearing a white wife-beater vest dirty from work and in my Irish accent politely requested any vaccine needed for Colombia as I was flying there in a week. The Black American lady behind the desk choose to ignore me, assuming I was a drug smuggler I guess. I had to wait for her colleague to finish with his customers to speak with me since I was apparently only visible to him.
He recommended four vaccines I think, the yellow fever one being the most urgent. It would cost something like $120 and I needed a doctor’s prescription. Since I’m not American he recommended a private vaccine place in New Orleans, probably costing around $150.
Well fuck that I thought, Colombians hardly have over a hundred bucks for the vaccine each. I will figure it out when I get down there.
I asked a taxi driver at the airport in Cartagena Colombia about the vaccine who wouldn’tt stop trying to convince me to take his taxi.
“”What is it you need?””
“”Vaccine””
“”What?””
“”Yell-low Fe-ver”,” I made a injection motion on my arm to symbolize a vaccine.
“”My friend if you need heroin, I can help you””
“”Forget it””
I asked at the Hostel and around the town. I found a lady wearing nurses clothes and asked her (I didn’t´t really speak Spanish yet). She pointed me to a door, definitely didn’t look like a clinic entrance but I was wrong.
A small room with plastic chairs. I gave the receptionist my Passport and took a seat. An hour later I had been vaccinated, handed a receipt to keep with my Passport as proof and it was all for free.
No side effects. I asked about other vaccines but the nurse said they weren’t necessary for Cartagena and I still don’t have them.
To find the clinic simply follow these instructions (its near the center). It’s best to arrive in the mornings on a weekday and all you need to bring is your Passport and a stabable arm.

Its very close to the party square near the old town where people gather at night to dance. If coming from Calle Media la Luna, the vaccination clinic is on the right hand side of Carrera 10B just beyond the church and before you get to the corner of Calle Larga Fatima.

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The brown door is the entrance to the clinic!
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View from the door of the clinic, taking a left here will take you back to the party square.

DEPARTAMENTO ADMINISTRATIVO DISTRITAL DE SALUD – DADIS (Department of Health)
Centro Getsemaní Carrera 10B No 25 -10 Calle Larga Casa Fátima 2 Piso

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2 thoughts on “Getting a Free Yellow Fever Vaccine in Colombia

  1. Coenraad Groenewald September 25, 2015 / 9:14 am

    Thanks for this, was struggling to find the vaccine in Korea. Hopefully I wont have any problems at customs without a certificate next week.

    Like

    • Hobo Spirit September 25, 2015 / 8:39 pm

      No you won’t, I flew to Cartagena without any issues whatsoever

      Like

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