Vaccines for Kenya | Recommendations & FAQs

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An important step in the preparation for a safari or Kenya beach holiday is to be aware of the entry requirements and travel health guidelines, regulations on vaccinations and what precautions should be taken in a visitor’s travel plans.

Other entry requirements include obtaining a Kenya visa and ensuring all paperwork is in place before arriving into the main airport of Nairobi (NBO) for visitors wondering how to get to Kenya.

Any compulsory vaccines in Kenya?

There are both compulsory for entry and strongly recommended vaccination requirements for Kenya. All travellers are required to have a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate in order to gain entry to Kenya. Understanding the best time to travel to Kenya is useful in helping travellers understand what vaccines they should take.

Furthermore, for most short-term travellers, many other vaccinations for Kenya are recommended which can add to the overall Kenya safari cost.

Recommended Kenya vaccines

Some vaccines are recommended for Kenya by the CDC & WHO.

VaccineRecommendation
CovidRecommended for everyone 5 years of age and older to get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before travel.
MalariaTravelers going to certain areas of Kenya should take prescription medicine to prevent malaria many days before their trip, as well as during and after their trip.
Chickenpox (Varicella)2 doses of chickenpox vaccine for children, adolescents, and adults who have never had chickenpox and were never vaccinated.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-PertussisCDC recommends diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis) vaccinations for everyone.
FluCDC recommends use of any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine as an option for vaccination.
MMRTwo doses of MMR vaccine to prevent measles and protect against Mumps and Rubella.
PolioCDC recommends that children get 4 doses of polio vaccine. Most adults do not need polio vaccine if already vaccinated as children.
ShinglesAdults 50 years and old should get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix (recombinant zoster vaccine), separated by 2 to 6 months, to prevent shingles
RabiesRabid dogs are commonly found in Kenya. Visitors should consider a rabies vaccination before their trip.
TyphoidRecommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.
Yellow FeverRequired if traveling from a country with risk of YF virus transmission and ≥1 year of age, including transit >12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of YF virus transmission.
Hepatitis ARecommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to Kenya.
Hepatitis BRecommended for unvaccinated travelers of all ages to Kenya.
Meningococcal meningitisVisitors should consult with their local doctor on meningitis requirements and vaccines prior to their trip.

Malaria risk

Malaria is prevalent in Kenya, particularly outside Nairobi. One of the highest risk areas is Mombasa which is where many travellers will find themselves at some time.

Malaria is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito and so the first line of defence is to protect yourself against mosquito bites. Malaria Prophylaxis may be prescribed to you during your consultation depending on your itinerary.

The CDC recommends that travellers going to certain areas of Kenya take prescription medicine to prevent malaria.

Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip. Talk to your doctor about which malaria medication and routine vaccines you should take.

Bite avoidance and counter measures are recommended. Visitors can check with a travel vaccinations medicine specialist to see if antimalarials should be considered to help prevent malaria contraction.

If travelling to a remote area remote away from medical facilities, it is recommended to carry standby emergency treatment. Visitors can find further information on Kenya vaccine details here.

Kenya health recommendations

Recommended visitor precautions

To help protect against mosquitoes, visitors should ensure to:

  • Apply mosquito repellents on clothes to avoid mosquito bites
  • Wear covered light clothing
  • Use mosquito nets on the windows of your accommodation and in vehicles, use the air conditioning

Depending on the areas visited, preventive antimalarial treatment should be considered.

Food and water precautions that should be observed:

  • Eat cooked food
  • Wash and peel fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid fresh fruit juices, ice creams, ice cubes, raw vegetables, reheated dishes
  • Consume pasteurized or boiled milk
  • Drink bottled or boiled water

Hygiene rules that should be followed:

  • Wash hands regularly, before and after each meal and after using the toilet
  • Don’t touch wild and stray animals to avoid animal bites and infection
  • Don’t swim in lakes and non-running water
  • Avoid any potentially contaminated food and water

Visitors with medical conditions should make tour guides and food catering aware of this in advance.

Vaccinations for Tanzania and Kenya

A Yellow Fever vaccine is recommended for visitors visiting Tanzania and the island of Zanzibar. The vaccination should be acquired a minimum of 10 days before travel.

Tanzania has no recorded case of Yellow Fever and efforts to ensure this superb record mean that all visitors from countries that have a high risk of Yellow Fever may have to present vaccination certificates upon entry.

Useful links

Kenya Covid 19 information

All travellers are required to have a negative Covid-19 certificate before travelling to Kenya, not older than 72 hours from your time of departure from your country of origin & regardless of vaccination status. Passengers below the age of 18 are exempt from this requirement.

This position may be updated pending update from the World Health Organisation and Kenyan authorities. A random antigen test may be taken by port health officers, depending on risk evaluation of the country of origin.

Arrivals whose journey originated in or have transited through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria within the previous 14 days will undergo a free rapid antigen test on arrival for surveillance purposes.

All passengers arriving in Kenya will be expected to complete a passenger Health Surveillance Locator Form before their arrival, even if only transiting.

The online registration form can be found on the “Jitenge” platform, accessible via the following link or the “Jitenge” App (available on the Google Play Store) Passengers will receive a QR code which must be presented to health officials on arrival

Pre-departure

Pre-departure testing may be considered at the discretion of any of the airlines departing from or terminating in Kenya.

Any passengers with flu-like symptoms (body temperature not above 37.5° c (99.5°f); persistent cough, difficulty breathing) at the point of entry, or those who develop clinical symptoms within 14 days of arrival shall be placed into quarantine and tested for COVID-19 at a government testing facility.

Any person who tests positive on antigen RDT at any point of entry will be isolated at a Ministry of Health designated facility at the passengers’ own cost or at home for returning Kenyans and residents for 10 days. A COVID-19 PCR test will be administered before discharge.

Exemptions

Operating crew are exempt from the COVID-19 test requirement when on a layover between flights. They must adhere to COVID-19 protocols from airport to hotel/residence and back to airport.

Diplomats and senior government officials will be exempt from quarantine but must be in possession of negative PCR test conducted within 72 hours before travel.

US citizens Covid-19 information

Arriving U.S. passengers are permitted to enter if the following conditions are met:

  • 1). The passenger does not have a body temperature above 37.5°C (99.5°F)
  • 2). The passenger does not have a persistent cough, difficulty breathing or other flu-like symptoms
  • 3). The passenger has a negative PCR-based COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours prior to departure.
  • 4). Completed passenger registration form here

Please visit the Kenyan Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 website, call the COVID-19 hotline at 719 for updated information or visit the U.S. embassy in Kenya website here.

UK/EU/Other citizens Covid-19 vaccines information

U.K, EU and other travellers are required to have a negative Covid-19 test not older than 72 hours from your time of departure from your country of origin.

All passengers travelling to Kenya must complete an online registration form on the “Jitenge” platform, accessible via the following link or the “Jitenge” App (available on the Google Play Store). Passengers will receive a QR code which must be presented to health officials on arrival.

FAQs

Are vaccines compulsory in Kenya?

There are both compulsory for entry and strongly recommended vaccinations for Kenya. All travellers are required to have a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate in order to gain entry to Kenya and other fully vaccinated jabs including Covid and antimalarials are recommended.

What health precautions should I take to travel to Kenya?

To help protect against mosquitoes, visitors should apply insect repellents on clothing, wear covered light clothing and use mosquito nets on the windows of your accommodation, particularly is travelling to Mombasa and Mount Kenya.