I'm told some South American countries want to see your vaccine card for yellow fever (and maybe for other stuff that I don't know about) when you are entering their country from another South American country. I think this card is called vaccine yellow book.

  1. Is it ok if I take a picture of this card and show them on my phone? Does the card have to be physical?

  2. Also which vaccines do I need to be safe in South America other than covid19? I'm planning to extensively travel SA. Last time I was there I had some weird/unusual acne(or rash? idk) on me even though I was in urban areas

  • (-1) Yes, the sole purpose of such documents: to be shown when required. They are not issued to be placed in a drawer of your home while traveling in an area where they are required. Commented May 29, 2022 at 15:45
  • You may be benefit from a consultation at a travel clinic.
    – xngtng
    Commented May 29, 2022 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


Even if other vaccines can be recorded in it, the main use for the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis is indeed checking whether you have been vaccinated against yellow fever. This requirement is not mainly about keeping you safe. Rather, it's designed to prevent spreading the disease in places that are at risk of local transmission.

I have heard about people getting away with a lot (including not being vaccinated) but I would not assume a picture of the document is enough. The Wikipedia article mentions newer digital versions used in some countries but that would be specific to those countries, the only standard document is the physical booklet (it's often called a card but it's closer to a passport).

What vaccines are recommended or beneficial for you is a completely separate question.

  • An image may be considered to be photshoped and thus is generlly not considered to be a valid replacement of a original document. Depending on the situation, an image may be accepted, but never assume that that will allways be the case. Commented May 29, 2022 at 18:27
  • @MarkJohnson Then again that document really doesn't have any security features, it's trivial to make a reasonable fake or just add an entry on a real booklet so I don't think we need to get into a discussion of photoshopping and the like. It's much simpler, the requirement is to present a document and officials can insist on seeing one.
    – Relaxed
    Commented May 29, 2022 at 20:21

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