How to get vaccinated in Colombia
In Colombia, you can find almost any vaccine that is currently available in the developed world. Whether you need your yearly flu shot, a tetanus shot, or a yellow fever shot (in case you are traveling to Amazonas), you can get any of these vaccines at specialized health clinics or hospitals. Covid-19 vaccinations have a special plan which currently is only available through the Colombian EPS/IPS state mandated insurance providers. Similar to other countries the vaccination plan starts with the most vulnerable based on age, health (comorbidities) and essential worker priortities. For more details on the COIVD-19 Colombian vaccination plan for 2021, click here.
Which Vaccines Are Available in Colombia?
In Colombia, there are organizations known as Caja de Compensacion Familiar. The objective of these organizations is to provide services to their affiliates that improve their overall wellbeing. Among the services provided by these organizations are health, education, recreation, culture, tourism, sport, living place, and credit.
One of the services these organizations provide is vaccination. You can affiliate yourself with these organizations at any time. Furthermore, if you affiliate yourself with an EPS, you will be provided with an option to affiliate with a Caja de Compensacion as well.
- Tarifa A: Affiliates earning up to COP 1,755,606
- Tarifa B: Affiliates earning between COP 1,755,607 and COP 3,511,212
- Tarifa C: Affiliates earning more than COP 3,511,212
For purpose of this article, we will present prices for a variety of vaccines currently offered by Comfama in the state of Antioquia. Another service provider for vaccines is Comfenalco in the same state. Please note that there are 43 Caja de Compensacion organizations just like Comfama and Comfenalco throughout Colombia. Each province in Colombia has its own Caja de Compensacion organization.
The cost of getting vaccinated in Colombia varies from one vaccine to another. Furthermore, the cost you pay per vaccine is dependent on your income and your affiliation with a service provider.
At specialized sites for vaccination such as Comfama, your cost of vaccination will be calculated based on your monthly income and affiliation with a Comfama.
If you make salario minimo or less than salario minimo, then your cost of vaccination will be the lowest.
If you make more than salario minimo or minimum salary, then your cost of vaccination will be much higher.
If you are not affiliated with Comfama, then you will be categorized as No afiliado and you will pay the highest cost of vaccination.
Please take a look at the chart below. The prices for each vaccine are from the year 2020. These prices change since the salario minimo or minimum salary per month changes every year.
You can also get your family members especially children get vaccinated in Colombia. Once you are affiliated with Comfama, they will give you a vaccination schedule for your dependents such as your children.
In Colombia, you cannot get vaccinated at a local pharmacy. You can only get vaccinated at health clinics such as those run by Comfama or Comfenalco. Additionally, you can also get vaccinated at health clinics that are operated by a health insurance provider such as EPS SURA. Finally, you can get vaccinated at a local hospital as well.
If you are affiliated with Comfama or Comfenalco, then you have to find a Comfama site that is nearest to you. It is highly recommended that you call that site in advance to confirm that the particular site carries the vaccine or has the particular vaccine in stock before you show up there.
If that particular health clinic does not carry the vaccine, then they will send you to another site. The nurse can call the clinic located at another site in advance to reserve a dosage of the vaccine for you.
You do not need to make an appointment. Once you are at the site, go to the reception and tell the receptionist at the front desk your affiliation status, the vaccine that you need, and get your ticket number. You will make the necessary payment and then wait for your turn. Proceed to the vaccination room to receive your vaccine once your ticket number is called by a nurse.
How Do I Get Vaccinated in Colombia?
How Does Cost of Vaccination in Colombia Compare to Cost of Vaccination in the United States?
Generally, the cost of vaccination in Colombia is much lower compared to the cost of vaccination in the United States. Even if you are not affiliated with any Caja de Compensacion organization, the out of pocket costs are much lower than what you would pay in the United States. Here is the link to approximate prices of vaccines in the United States. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/awardees/vaccine-management/price-list/2019/2019-08-01.html.
Click Here to see the approximate price of vaccines in Colombia.
|Vaccine||Cost in Colombia||Cost in the United States|
|Shingles (Zostavax, Shingrix)||$200 for 2 shots||$280 for 2 shots|
|HPV (Gardasil 9)||$140 for 3 shots||$651 for 3 shots|
|Hepatitis A (Avaxim)||$55 for 2 shots||$140 for 2 shots|
|Hepatitis B (Recomvax)||$31 for 3 shots||$177 for 3 shots|
|Chickenpox (Varivax)||$58 for 2 shots||$260 for 2 shots|
|Yellow Fever (Stamaril, Yf-Vax)||$20 for 1 shot||$155 for 1 shot|
Here is a comparison of cost of some common vaccines in the United States versus cost of vaccine in Colombia for non-affiliates. As of this writing the exchange rate is 1 USD = COP 3,600.
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