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I'm travelling from Paris to Senegal and back (with stopovers in Madrid both ways). I have a valid yellow fever vaccination but I've lost the yellow certificate and the clinic where I got the vaccination, has closed down after I was vaccinated, and there is no record of me having had the vaccination. I have investigated, and there is no way for me to recover the lost certificate, so I have no proof of being vaccinated. If there is no blood or urine test I can do to prove that I've been vaccinated, then what if I sign an affidavit in the presence of a commissioner of oaths, swearing that I have done been vaccinated for yellow fever on a certain day? Would it be valid at the airport?

Where will I be asked to show the yellow certificate:
1) At the airport in Paris or Madrid on the way to Dakar?
2) At the airport in Dakar after landing?
3) At the airport in Dakar when leaving for my return?
4) At the airport in Madrid or Paris when arriving?

  • You will certainly need to prove your vaccination when checking in for your return flight to France. You can check further here iatatravelcentre.com/… depending on your length of stay, flight routing etc – Traveller Nov 19 '19 at 13:24
  • @Traveller: I filled in the form in the link you provided, but the result said nothing about needing a vaccination. How do you know that I will certainly need to prove my vaccination when checking in for my return flight to France? I also forgot to mention that the flight to France involves a stopover in Spain. – user1271772 Nov 24 '19 at 20:26
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    @Traveller I believe it's more for the flight to Senegal that the vaccination will be checked. – phoog Nov 24 '19 at 21:20
  • @phoog, I would have thought so, but people have told me they don't check on the way in, only on the way out. – user1271772 Nov 24 '19 at 21:33
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    It was a loooooooong time ago (over 30 years), but back then, it was most definitely on the way to Senegal that you had to prove you had the yellow fever vaccination. IIRC they checked it at passport control when arriving in Senegal. Don’t remember if any checks were made before departure and of course it may have changed since then. – jcaron Nov 24 '19 at 22:48
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CDC suggests booster vaccines every ten years. Given this, and the fact that CDC doesn't mention avoiding multiple shots, I'd go to a doctor, present the case, and simply ask for a second dose and a new certificate. That is probably the quickest and most efficient way of solving this.

Inform the doctor that you have the vaccine previously, how long ago it was, and that you lost your certificate.

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    Note that the World Health Organization disagrees with the CDC here, and now (since 2014) states that a Yellow Fever vacation provides coverage for life. – Doc Nov 23 '19 at 21:36
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    @Doc I'm aware of that it is considered to provide life long protection, but the fact that the practice previously was to repeat it, that indicates that there's no inherent danger to getting multiple shots. That's why I'm suggesting this as the easiest way out. If the doctor believes otherwise, he can write an waiver. – vidarlo Nov 23 '19 at 21:42
  • @vidarlo and others, my question does not ask anything about getting a second dose or a new certificate or spending any more minutes with doctors. I'm asking whether or not an affidavit, signed in the presence of a commissioner of oaths, could be accepted at an airport. If you don't know the answer to that question, please let's wait until someone does. – user1271772 Nov 24 '19 at 19:53
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    @user1271772 I'm aware of that. I'm simply providing what I believe is the easiest way to solve the problem. Note that either a yellow fever vaccination certificate or a waiver from a doctor seems to be what is required, a signed affidavit is not mentioned. Timatic lists Vaccination against yellow fever for all passengers. for Senegal. In short: Without a confirmation from a doctor or a vaccine certificate, I don't believe you'll be allowed. Note that both the certificate and waiver is supposed to be on a fixed form. – vidarlo Nov 24 '19 at 20:00
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    That should be mentioned in your question. Anyway, some countries simply vaccinate people without vaccines on the border. I've seen this in for instance Uganda. – vidarlo Nov 24 '19 at 20:34
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The World Health Organization's website has a PDF summarizing what each country requires in terms of yellow fever vaccinations: https://www.who.int/ith/ITH_country_list.pdf

According to that PDF, France and Spain do not require (as of 2013) a proof of vaccination: enter image description here

enter image description here

Compare France and Spain with a different country that, like France and Spain, is not considered to be a place where people are at risk of getting yellow fever, but they do state clearly that anyone arriving from a country with risk is required to have a vaccination:

enter image description here

I would still recommend to get a second vaccination (therefore replacing your lost certificate), or a vaccination waiver if possible, because airport staff might not know the contents of the PDF below, and even if they do, they might not necessarily follow it.

Whether or not airport staff would accept an affidavit swearing in the presence of a Commisioner of Oaths that you have a valid vaccination, remains an open question it seems.

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  • What about Senegal? – phoog Nov 24 '19 at 21:23
  • You can click the link in my URL, for Senegal it says that vaccinations are required for anyone entering Senegal from an at-risk country. Since I'm flying from France via Spain, which are both not at-risk countries, Senegal should be fine with letting me in. – user1271772 Nov 24 '19 at 21:34

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