Travelers beware. As vaccinations ramp up and we all rush to get the shots you might be leaving yourself in the cold if you plan to travel abroad, especially to remote places like Africa.
Vaccination will come much later to developing countries even as the virus continues to rage there. Authorities will require travelers arriving from abroad to prove they have a valid vaccination.
Normally that certification is carried in the World Health Organization’s yellow “International Vaccination Certificate Booklet.”
Reports right now from California and Florida report that many of the health workers administering the shot have no knowledge of the yellow booklet. In car lines that stretch around sports stadiums it’s unlikely you’ll be able to convince them otherwise before you’re physically moved along.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Retain as much documentation as possible, starting with your confirmed appointment. Some vaccination facilities are giving out good pamphlets about the procedure you undertake, although few are date-time-stamping the event. This is critical.
In addition to the exact time, make sure you carefully document the dosage and the vaccine serial number.
In short, get everything you can. Because your regular doctor is authorized to complete that yellow booklet for you.
OTHER CERTIFICATIONS MAY ALSO BE VALID
Some sites are providing candidates with their own but very specific certification. That might even be better, especially when transcribed into the yellow booklet by your regular doctor.
The key is to expect serious scrutiny when you arrive Nairobi or Johannesburg or Bangkok or Delhi or La Paz. It’s unlikely that the cursory examination many of us are familiar with in the past will continue. Those without adequate documentation will not be allowed to enter the country.