How to Get Yellow Fever Vaccine from Manila
Process for getting Yellow Fever Vaccine Certificate (YFV) from Manila
Procedure for Travelers for tourism purposes and Sea Farers:
Yellow Fever vaccination is just one of the many requirements I had to accomplish for my backpacking trip in Africa. Some African countries would only recommend YFV, while other yellow fever zones require it. Regardless, I strongly suggest that you get it anyway in order to have more flexibility with your travel options.
Here’s the list of countries with risk of yellow fever virus (YFV) transmission
Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) Kawanihan ng Kuwarentenas 25th Street, Port Area, Manila (behind Manila Hotel)
Manila Hotline for queries: (02) 320- 9108
Mondays to Fridays | 8 to 11am and 1 to 3pm
Saturdays | 8 to 11am
– As of July 11, 2016, the validity of YFV has been changed from 10 years to lifetime.
– Php 1,500
– Php 300 for re-issuance of certificates
BOQ has only started computerizing their records in 2007. Before that, they only keep a manual copy of the YFV certificates, which they dispose every 10 years.
- For those who were vaccinated on or before 2007 and are STILL IN POSSESSION of their YFV certificates:
Only those who have been vaccinated from 2007 onwards are eligible for change of YFV card. To do this, present your certificate to the staff of BOQ to avail of the re-issuance of the certificate. This only costs Php 300. This means that they will simply retrieve your records and give you another certificate with the validity changed to “lifetime”.
Persons who had their yellow fever shot 2006 and earlier need to be revaccinated. Aside from the central office in Manila, other WHO-approved vaccination BOQ stations are in Iloilo, Cebu, & Davao.
- For those who were vaccinated on or before 2007 and are NO LONGER IN POSSESSION of their YFV certificates:
You may have to do the whole process of vaccination and pay the corresponding Php 1,500 fee because they might not have your records anymore. It is best to present a gov’t issued ID and hopefully the staff can locate your records in their logbook.
- For all others who had their YFV just a few years back:
Then you have several years ahead before the reflected validity expires. At your convenience, you can head to BOQ and request for re-issuance that states “lifetime validity”.
- For those who were vaccinated from year 2007 and above but have lost their YFV certificates:
Just present a valid government-issued ID for them to retrieve your records and avail of the re-issuance.
Application from BOQ, Metro Manila:
Best time to go:
The process is generally fast but BOQ advises that the best time to go is in the morning as the queue piles up towards the afternoon.
Before acquiring your YF vaccine, ensure that:
- You are not pregnant or suspecting pregnancy
- You did not acquire any type of vaccination in the last 7 days
- You are not HIV positive
- You haven’t taken alcoholic drinks for the last 24 hrs.
- If you are 60 yrs. old and above, you may be asked to present a certificate from your doctor allowing you to receive YFV
Process for first-time applicants:
1) Fill out the forms outside.
2) Hand out the forms you filled out to the attending nurse inside and answer the usual questions about your health history.
3) She will direct you to go to the other nurse who will then administer the vaccination in your upper arm. It’s very quick; you don’t even have to sit down.
4) Once done, settle the corresponding vaccination fee of Php 1,500. The official receipt will be given to you.
5) Right next to the cashier are employees in-charge of printing the International Certificates of Vaccination. Just wait there until your name is called.
6) Once you receive your yellow fever certificate/ International Certificate of Vaccination, thoroughly check that all details are correct. All information should accurately match what is reflected in your passport. If you spot any mistake, give it back so they can re-print.
Process for re-issuance:
I have not tried this myself but I was told by BOQ that there are properly labeled forms and procedures to follow when you get there. Don’t forget to bring your existing yellow fever certificate if you still have it and/or any gov’t issued ID if you no longer have it.
Other important information:
If you receive the YFV shot today, the date that will reflect in your certificate for when the validity starts is after 10 days from the date of vaccination. For example, if you got the shot in Nov 1, your certificate will state valid from Nov.10- Lifetime.
Because it takes 10 days for the body to fully absorb the medication and be deemed as effective. Hence, make sure to note this as you might be refused entry to whichever Yellow Fever zone you will go to because of the validity date reflected.
– Ensure that you bring the original copy of your yellow fever certificate. Keep it together with your passport
– Bring photocopies as well
Doctor’s prescription for Malaria medicines, etc…
– Depending on where you’re going, you may be recommended to take anti-Malaria medicines as well. Note that Malaria meds cannot be purchased over-the-counter; they require prescription. Therefore, when acquiring your YFC, take advantage of the free consultation with the resident doctor at BOQ. Just inform one of the nurses that you need a prescription for Malaria medicines so they can show you the way to the doctor’s office. Do this if you wish to avoid paying for a private doctor just to get the said prescription.
– In my case, I was prescribed to take Mefloquine 250 mg. I was advised to take one tablet a week before I arrive in Africa, then once a week subsequently for the rest of my stay, and the last pill I should take a week after I got out of Africa. It costs around Php 120 per tablet at Mercury Drug Store. Unfortunately, they don’t have generic brands.
– Do you really need to take Malaria medicines?
I stayed as a tourist in YF zones in Africa and was taking malaria meds for the first couple of weeks. I stopped after hearing from fellow travelers that it’s not good for the liver and that some side effects include having weird dreams among other weird things.
Just use insect repellent and use mosquito net when sleeping. Also wear long pants or just about any wardrobe that covers your skin. I’ve been to Africa on and off for the last 3 yrs. since but never had any problems apart from harmless mosquito bites here and there.
Tip: Buy mosquito repellant in the country you’re traveling to. OFF Lotion in the Philippines can’t knock out the mosquitoes in Africa.