Free Yellow Fever Vaccine at Bogota Airport

Yellow Fever vaccination certificate

Before COVID-19 forced countries to close borders and only allowed the entry of citizens and residents, I just arrived in Colombia for a 12-day trip without a Yellow Fever vaccine. Don’t get me wrong, I had it planned way ahead and the confirmed cases were only few then. And in retrospect, I barely talked to anyone and constantly sanitized my hands from time to time. #defensive

I will not lie though that the moment I stepped into the airport, the sense of guilt, stupidity, and paranoia struck me like no other. Now, enough of that and let’s get down to it.

I flew in from Costa Rica and it was also where I was exiting to after. It’s among those countries that require a Certificate of Vaccination when coming from a country with a risk of Yellow Fever transmission (most of South America are at risk, including Colombia). I could’ve gotten a Yellow Fever vaccine while I was still in the Central American country but it cost around $100. Compared to the price in the US which I heard was twice or even thrice, it’s definitely cheaper. But man, it’s still a hundred bucks.

After doing my assignment and learning that you can get it for FREE at El Dorado International Airport, it was the first order of business without question. Whip out some Spanish to ask where Hospital de Fontibon is. As of this writing, the clinic is on the second floor and is open everyday from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Hospital de Fontibon at Bogota Airport

Get your priority number as soon as you get inside. I came in 20 minutes past one and was third (or fourth?) in line.

Hospital de Fontibon at Bogota Airport

You’ll be asked to read the contraindications of Yellow Fever and to fill up a form with your basic information (labels are in Spanish so if you don’t have a translator app, the information from other people on the list will be your guide).

Hospital de Fontibon at Bogota Airport

In 20 minutes I was out and about and just saved a hundred dollars. Do note that the Yellow Fever vaccine certificate only becomes valid 10 days after it was issued. Formerly valid for only 10 years, it now has a lifetime validity so make sure to make it as an extension of your passport.

Nelson

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An outdated software engineer with the attention span of a fruit fly. Follow me on Instagram if you can!

6 Comments

  1. Everything is true about the free Yellow Fever Vaccine at the BOG airport.But they absolutely won’t give it to you if you have reached 60 years old. Not sure but they might give it to an older person if they had a Colombian doctor give them a letter stating the need for the vaccine. I’m going to Africa and most visa applications seem to have the vaccine as a requirement…so you can’t even land and get the shot at that time.

    1. I wasn’t aware of this at all but a quick search landing on the CDC website points out that it may still be possible.

      People aged ≥ 60 years may be at increased risk for serious adverse events (serious disease or, very rarely, death) following vaccination, compared with younger persons. This is particularly true if they are receiving their first yellow fever vaccination. Travelers aged ≥ 60 years should discuss with their healthcare provider the risks and benefits of the vaccine given their travel plans.

      https://www.cdc.gov/yellowfever/qa/

  2. Hi, is this at the airport directly (you mentorn the second floor) or at the Hospital De Fontibon, which is 4,5km away from the airport according to Google?
    Thanks for this!!

  3. Love the advice and the guide on getting to the hospital! I’m About to travel to colombia in a few weeks, Were you asked for the Yellow Fever vaccination as you left the airport? and did they have an issue if it wasn’t completed within 10 days?

    1. No, I wasn’t asked for it on my way out of the country. But I do remember that I actually didn’t make it to the 10-day requirement and that I already had a reason in my mind in case they’d stop me from leaving.

      Hopefully I helped somehow. Have an awesome trip!

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