What shots should I get? [Vaccines for Travelers to Ethiopia]

“What vaccines are recommended for travelers to Ethiopia?”

The US CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends that you visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. 

Below are their recommended vaccines for people traveling from the US.

All US Citizens – Routine Vaccines for International Travel

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. Always consult with your healthcare professional.

These vaccines may include:

  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine,
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTP) vaccine,
  • Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine,
  • Polio vaccine – adults who completed the polio vaccine series as children and are traveling to areas with increased risk of polio should receive a one-time booster dose,
  • Annual flu shot.

Most US Citizens – Vaccines for African Travel

Get these specific vaccines if there is an increased risk of these diseases in the part of Africa, you are going to visit. Always consult with your healthcare professional.

Hepatitis A
CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Ethiopia, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

Typhoid
You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Ethiopia. The CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

Some US Citizens – Vaccines for Specific People Who Visit to Ethiopia

Ask your healthcare professional about what vaccines you need based on where in Ethiopia you are going to visit, how long you are staying, what you will be doing while there (extensive hiking/trekking, working with animals, etc.), and if you are traveling to Ethiopia from a country other than the US.

Cholera
The CDC recommends this vaccine for adults who are traveling to areas of active cholera transmission. Cholera is assumed to be present in Ethiopia. Cholera is rare in travelers but can be severe. Certain factors may increase the risk of getting cholera or having severe disease. Avoiding unsafe food and water and washing your hands frequently can also prevent cholera.

NOTE: Vaccination against cholera is required if you have visited a cholera infected area within 6 days prior to arrival in Ethiopia.

Malaria
Talk to your doctor about how to prevent malaria while traveling. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, especially if you are visiting low-altitude areas.

NOTE: Malaria is absent from big parts of Ethiopia due to high altitude but it does occur in lower areas like the Awash Valley, Rift Valley, Omo Valley and Gambella. 

Outbreaks of malaria are also known to happen around Bahir Dar, but the town itself is usually malaria free. Addis Ababa, Gondar, Simien Mountains, Axum, Lalibela, Harar and the Danakil are reported Malaria free.

Consult your doctor for detailed advice about malaria prophylactics prescription and recommended immunizations.

Yellow Fever
Yellow fever is a risk in certain parts of Ethiopia, so the CDC recommends the yellow fever vaccine for travelers 9 months of age or older, if you are going to be traveling to these areas.

Country entry requirement: The government of Ethiopia no longer requires a yellow fever certificate but it might be required when you arrive from a country with a risk of yellow fever (this does not include the US!).

Rabies
Rabies can be found in domestic dogs, bats, and other mammals in Ethiopia, so CDC recommends this vaccine only for the following select groups:

  • Travelers involved in extended outdoor activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites.
  • People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers).
  • People who are taking long tours of Ethiopia.
  • Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.

Hepatitis B
You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so CDC recommends this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.

Meningitis (Meningococcal disease)
CDC recommends this vaccine if you plan to visit parts of Ethiopia located in the meningitis belt during the dry season (December–June), when the disease is most common.

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To learn more from the vaccines recommended by CDC click here > http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/ethiopia