People that are used to travel abroad know that the vaccination card is an important document to keep updated. This article will inform you about the mandatory vaccines in Brazil, the most common diseases in the country and how to be protected from them.
Vaccination in Brazil
As many other countries, Brazil has a legal mechanism that allows the government to force the population to take vaccines, if considered necessary.
Of course, no one will get arrested by not taking a vaccine, but foreigners can confront some problems with immigration in some cases. However, when it comes to children younger than 10 years old, the situation is different. Parents that do not vaccinate their children properly can be accused of neglect, and face legal consequences in the country.
The Brazilian government has vaccination calendars designed for children, teenagers, adults and elders to be followed by the citizens. However, not all the vaccines in these calendars are freely provided to the population. Some of them, are only available in private clinics.
As for the vaccines that are given by the government, they are meant to everyone, including foreigners. In order to know where to vaccinate in Brazil, it is recommended to contact the closest public hospital or health center. They will provide the information on how to proceed.
Further, we will give an overview of the most common diseases in Brazil, their vaccines and the regions where they happen more often. We will keep the focus on the vaccines that are most requested to be taken by foreign adults.
Mandatory vaccination in Brazil
Most of the vaccines that are mandatory in Brazil are provided freely by the Ministry of Health. As the prevention of these diseases represents a matter of public health, they are given to foreigners as well, after the presentation of a valid identity document.
However, it is highly recommended to travel to the country with these vaccines already taken, or else, foreigners can have their entrance in Brazil denied in some cases. It’s better to prevent this situation.
The mandatory vaccines in Brazil are basically the same as the ones provided in other countries around the world. So vaccines won’t be a big problem for foreigners that are coming to Brazil. It is only necessary to check your vaccination card and see if there is any vaccine missing.
Important: Always remember to bring the certificates that you’ve been vaccinated abroad when travelling to Brazil.
Febre Amarela (Yellow Fever)
Yellow Fever is a life-threatening viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes. The Brazilian authorities, advised by the Ministry of Health, might require and strongly advise foreign visitors to take the yellow fever vaccination when in destination to the following states: Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Distrito Federal (including the capital city Brasília), Roraima, Rondônia, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí, Bahia, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, São Paulo, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Goiás e Distrito Federal.
The vaccine is also recommended for foreigners visiting the Iguaçu Falls region, which is located in the triple border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The vaccine is effective and protects for 10 years. It has to be taken 10 days before your travel to risky areas.
Sarampo, Caxumba e Rubéola (Measles, Mumps and Rubella)
The three diseases are practically eradicated in the country. However, some seasonal breaks still happen every now and then. In Brazil, the vaccine that protects against the three diseases is called MMR.
Hepatite A e B (Hepatitis A and B)
The vaccine is recommended for all travelers if not previously vaccinated. In Brazil, the Hepatitis B vaccine is provided for free, but the A type still can only be taken in private clinics.
Vaccine for Rabis is recommended for travelers who will spend a lot of time outdoors, exposed to animal bites, such as veterinarians, animal handlers and biologists. In Brazil, Rabis is mostly transmitted by bats and dogs in urban areas. The immunization should also be considered for those making trips to remote areas in the Brazilian northeastern and northern regions, where most cases occur.
Febre Tifóide (Typhoid fever)
The vaccine for typhoid fever is meant for travelers who may eat or drink outside major restaurants and hotels.
Tétano e difteria (Tetanous and diphtheria)
The vaccine is recommended for all travelers who have not received a tetanus-diphtheria immunization within the last 10 years.
Malaria, Dengue fever and Chagas Disease: precautions
Even though Malaria, Dengue fever and Chagas are diseases that occur at large scale in Brazil, there are still no vaccines for them. These diseases are not contagious. They are transmitted by insects, manifesting in outbreaks (especially during the summertime) and are characteristic of some Brazilian regions.
The only way to prevent from getting these diseases is to protect against the insects’ bites. Once transmitted, it is important to pay attention to the first symptoms and get an early diagnosis to be treated properly.
Dengue fever is a flu-like illness sometimes complicated by hemorrhage or shock. It is a disease typical of urban areas. Despite the efforts of public health authorities, Dengue outbreaks happen every year during summer. If not treated quickly, the disease can be fatal. Outbreaks have already been reported in the states of Amazonas, Acre, Ceará, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Alagoas, Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, and Rio Grande do Norte.
Malaria is also a disease transmitted by mosquito bites. The transmission occurs mainly in the states of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins, and the western part of Maranhão, as well as urban areas, including cities such as Boa Vista, Macapá, Manaus, Marabá, Porto Velho, and Santarém.
Chagas disease is an infection caused by a protozoan and transmitted by an insect, sort of bug, known as “barbeiro”. There is no cure for Chagas disease. It happens more often in the Brazilian states of Pará, Amazonas, and Amapá.