Vaccinations In Panama

Okay, this is going to be a short post. One of the readers of my blog had great questions about the vaccines that are required here in Panama. 

I was surprised at how difficult it was to get a good answer for this. Jessica, the reader who requested this info, tried calling several of the schools here and tried emailing a few too, but got no response. So she contacted me. My sister-in-law is a doctor out in David, so I figured if anyone could get the info for me, she could. She sent me a couple of pdf’s she found, with lists of vaccines needed. 

Still, finding a list of everything compiled, for all age groups, was a pain. I think I found what you guys need though. I used the following two websites to gather this info: and this awesome pinterest page:

These sites included the following charts, which I’ll paste here as well, all taken from Panama’s Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud). The charts are in Spanish, but if you print them out and take them to your doctor in the U.S., he/she should be able to figure out what it is you need. 

Worst case, just bring your kids’ current shot records with you to Panama. If they’re missing something, the doctor here will get them up to date. When we moved here, we brought our kids’ records. I think our daughters need a couple of shots since the requirements are a little bit different between here and the U.S.

Here are the charts from the sites mentioned above. The print on these will be too small, I just couldn’t make them fit onto my blog in a way that you’d be able to see them clearly. I’ve linked each chart to its web page though, so click each one and you’ll be taken to a full-size chart.  

For Children under 1 year

Children 12 months to 4 years

Children 5 yeas to 19 years

Women of Childbearing Age

General Adult Population

National Vaccination Schedule for late or non-vaccinated children 4 months to 5 years old

Hope this helped a little bit. Thanks for reading,


This article was originally written on 10/22/2013 

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10 Responsesso far.

  1. Dave says:

    Hey Chris,

    Just stumbled upon your blog. It’s very good. I am part of a group of families who are looking at leaving the US for a better life for our children. Panama is on the short list. We (this group of families) were brought together due to our children being negatively impacted by the CDC vaccine schedule here in the US so that is certainly one of the facets we are evaluating. (Much like Crystal in the above comments). Appreciate the info you list here.

    Have heard very good things from others about Panama. One of my neighbors moved down there. She kept her house here and comes back rarely.

    Will be following your blog and pointing it out at our next meeting.


    • Chris says:

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for reaching out. I wish you guys the best of luck in your journey. I’m curious to find out if you guys decided to choose Panama.

  2. Andy Melnyk says:


    This has been helpful. The discussion cleared up a concern about “mandatory” vaccinations.
    We will have one minor child with us when we move abroad; we’ve been home schooling all
    six of our kids all the way through high school (our fourth one graduated this year). As long
    as vaccination is not an enforced requirement, we’ll be OK with that.

    The “Stay at Home Gringo” blog and the “Panama for Real” web site have been a major factor
    in adding Panama to the “short list” of possible retirement abroad locations. It’s a refreshing
    change from the more typical hype and BS one gets from some sources (many who are selling
    real estate – that explains a a lot).

    Panama does look like a very attractive option, particularly the quieter and cooler mountain
    region north of David (Volcan, Cerro Punta). People accustomed to the big city life probably
    would find that area very boring, but considering where we’ll be coming from and what we
    prefer, that’s a nonissue.


  3. Crystal says:

    Thanks for sharing this! Hubby and I are trying to decide where we’d like to retire, and Panama is on the list. Our two oldest children are partially vaxed – both had adverse reactions,and our youngest 2 are not vaxxed at all. So, Panama looks very promising!


  4. Stephaña says:

    Awesome! :0) Thanks so much man! For sure it’s appreciated! My fears are calmed.
    You’re family is beautiful by the way. Thank you for the videos! My Husband and I are looking at a possible parcel of land in Volcan. Big maybe.

  5. Stephana says:

    hey guys,
    So, we are planning to venture to Panama to live. My youngest 9 months has absolutly No vaccinations of any kind and my seven year old only had his first round done. I myself haven’t had vaccinations since I was a child. Is it required to have all these vaccinations for my children to live in Panama? Not too worried about the school system; thinking about Homeschool rather.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Stephana,

      Thanks for checking out the site. Honestly, you’re supposed to get the vaccines, but many people don’t. I think the schools want you to have your children vaccinated, but they don’t check your shot records. You have to get a medical form signed off by a doctor, and it’s supposed to be the doctor who checks the vaccination forms, but most of the time they don’t. Most doctors will see your child and sign off on the form rather quickly. It’s all just part of the process. And if you’re going to homeschool your children, I wouldn’t even worry about it. When you take your kids to the pediatrician, they might ask to see your shot records just to make sure your kids are up to date, but other than that, you probably won’t hear much about the vaccinations. It’s not like you’ll be reported or anything.

      Thanks again for checking out the site,


  6. Elis says:

    Vaccines are not mandatory in Panama they are optional. My kids have attended both public and private schools since we moved to Panama in 2009. The schools ask for a vaccine record but if you don’t vaccinate your kid they will still accept your children.

    • Chris says:

      Hey Elis,

      Thanks for commenting and for checking out the site. Ha, I could be wrong about this, but I have a feeling they’re supposed to be mandatory, but most schools just want your kid to be enrolled there so they’re not as strict as they should be. Every school we’ve enrolled our kids into overlooked something we were missing.

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