I have to go to Brazil next week and I saw that there is currently a Yellow Fever outbreak.

I know I already got the Yellow Fever vaccine some years ago and that it's valid for a lifetime, so I'm protected, but I don't have the certificate to prove it.


  • Will I be authorized to go to Brazil without my vaccination certificate? I can't find a good reference.
  • Is there still time to to get another vaccination (because I think it must be done at least 10 days beforehand)?
  • Is there still time to get my certificate (how/where?)

If one of the three answers is positive that would help me.

I will depart from Belgium, my home country, and will stay in Rio de Janeiro for 5 days.

  • 1
    got the Yellow Fever vaccine some years ago Where? Did you contact them? Why don't you have your 'yellow booklet'?
    – user40521
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 9:55
  • What is "some years ago?" The US CDC recommendations recommend consideration (in consultation with a travel medicine specialist) of a booster dose after 10 years if you're going to an area with an outbreak. Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 9:58
  • @ZachLipton LiptonNow that I think of it "some years ago" is about 12 years ago so it would indeed be a good idea to get a booster dose.
    – Gilles V.
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 10:07
  • @JanDoggen I don't remember where I got it and I don't have the vaccination certificate because at the time it was only valid for 10 years and I think I trashed it a couple years ago.
    – Gilles V.
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 10:09
  • 2
    Be careful if you have a connection in a country that does require the certificate
    – Ferroao
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 13:47

3 Answers 3


The yellow fever vaccination is recommended but not mandatory (in portuguese) for now:

Viajantes internacionais

O Brasil não exige o Certificado Internacional de Vacinação ou Profilaxia para entrada no país.

a free translation:

International Travelers:

Brazil does not requires the internacional vaccination certificate when you arrive in the country.

Source: Yellow Fever - Brazil

However, the yellow fever vaccination is recommended:

In response to the outbreak, the World Health Organization expanded the list of areas where yellow fever vaccination is recommended for international travelers to Brazil. Most recently, the city of São Paulo was added to this expanded list (below). Please note that this list contains temporary expanded vaccine recommendations.

Source: IAMAT

My recommendation is if you already got the vaccination 10 years ago, get it again. If you already got it before, you do not need to wait 10 days to vaccination works.

I am not sure what part of Rio de Janeiro you will visit. It is important to highlight that there is not any case of urban yellow fever. The people that got yellow fever, they have been in remote areas. I suggest to use a mosquito repellent.

Here, there is mapping that you can see the risk by region: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/yellow-fever-brazil

  • There is currently a shortage of yellow fever vaccine. You should talk to a physician about whether revaccination is medically necessary. If it is not, getting it would be unethical. Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 15:43
  • Any updates to this status? Can someone shed light on how serious it would be to travel without vaccination to urban locations in Rio and Sao Paolo?
    – Ayyash
    Commented Apr 14, 2019 at 5:00

You can get medical travel advice by phone at the Institute of Tropical medicine.


  • Their page Yellow fever vaccination: update mentions getting a booster injection. You can check if anything mentioned there applies to you.
  • Yellow fever vaccination centres are listed here (another list here)
  • Thank you for you answer, it seems that it would be wise for me to get a booster dose if it's not too late.
    – Gilles V.
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 10:18

Marcel P. answered about Brazil's (lack of) vaccination requirements.

I wanted to rectify that WHO says a booster is not needed after 10 years:

17 MAY 2013 | GENEVA - The yellow fever ‘booster’ vaccination given ten years after the initial vaccination is not necessary, according to WHO. An article published in WHO’s Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) reveals that the Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) has reviewed the latest evidence and concluded that a single dose of vaccination is sufficient to confer life-long immunity against yellow fever disease.

I don't have any evidence to support this, but my colleagues (we use to travel for work) told me one can go somewhere to get a new vaccination certificate when the original one expires.

I don't even know where/how you'd do that here in Argentina, but you can try calling any center that provides the vaccination to ask if they know how to renew the certificate.

  • I have got my international certification last month and it is validated forever!
    – Marcel P.
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 17:35

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