Medical Information for Applicants

You will find below information about the Peace Corps’ medical clearance process.

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Medical clearance process overview

If you receive an official invitation letter from the Peace Corps, you must be medically cleared for service before becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer.

While we are trying to clear as many people as possible, to ensure your safety and well-being once you are in service abroad, this process is extremely thorough.

Your medical evaluation will be unique and tailored to your health needs. Our process is an individualized assessment based on your medical records, including immunizations, current medical conditions, and ongoing treatment. Please consider applying for service even if you have a preexisting medical condition, receive mental health care, or take medication. Many Volunteers have successfully served while managing these types of health conditions.

Our medical assessment carefully considers the healthcare available in the specific country, location, and role for which you have applied. Because of the nature of the countries where the Peace Corps serves, the conditions under which Volunteers live and work, and the scope of medical care available in those countries, the Peace Corps may not be able to support some medical conditions. Fundamentally, we want to ensure you have all the support and resources you need to stay as healthy as possible during service.

Notice regarding COVID-19

The Peace Corps remains committed to protecting the health and safety of our Volunteers, host country partners and staff, and host communities. Based on the latest evidence, we have decided that it is in the best interest of the health and safety of our Volunteers, staff, and the countries we serve to have our incoming Volunteers obtain the COVID-19 vaccination and appropriate boosters before returning to service. This is a requirement of medical clearance.

Watch video: Medical clearance process

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About the Health History Form

Filling out the Health History Form (HHF) accurately and completely will expedite the medical screening process. You will be asked to complete this form when you submit an application.

Medical information is confidential and will be sent to the Office of Medical Services (OMS). Misleading, inaccurate, or incomplete information on your application can be grounds for disqualification or termination from Peace Corps, could seriously endanger your health, and could impact your future participation with the Peace Corps.

Medical review step-by-step

If you are invited, the Office of Medical Services (OMS) will process your medical review as follows:

  1. OMS will assign medical and dental tasks that need to be completed for medical clearance. The tasks will appear in your secure medical portal at various times, requesting all exams and specialist evaluations, as applicable. All assigned lab and health screening tests are mandatory.
  2. Depending on your medical history, OMS may first ask you to complete a personal statement and in some cases, specialist evaluations before asking you to complete the full medical exam. This information helps us determine if Peace Corps can safely care for you in service and provide necessary medical supports.
  3. You will complete the required medical exams and documentation and submit that information in your medical portal.
  4. OMS will review your submissions and contact you if additional information is needed.
  5. OMS will either 1) clear you for service to the country you were invited to, or 2) will help you secure an invitation to another country that can support your medical needs, or 3) determine that you cannot be medically cleared for service at this time and your invitation will be withdrawn. If you are medically not cleared you have the right to appeal this decision by requesting an additional review and clearance determination by the Pre-Service Review Board.

Medical clearance is based upon your physical, mental and, and dental health status at the time of review.

If, after your clearance, you become ill, undergo surgery, add to or change medications, undergo therapy or treatment, or develop any condition for which you seek medical assistance, you must notify OMS immediately, as any significant change in your health may affect your medical clearance. For further information, you may call the Office of Medical Services at 202.692.1504 or email [email protected].

Medical reimbursement

The Peace Corps reimburses medical expenses incurred during the medical clearance process as provided below. The number of tasks that are requested during the medical clearance process varies based on your medical history and host country requirements. There is no financial limit for reimbursement of medical services that are required as part of medical clearance process.

If you incur medical expenses that were not requested by the Peace Corps, or that were completed prior to the start of the medical clearance process, these expenses are your responsibility.

If you have any questions about medical reimbursement please contact [email protected].

Medical services that are reimbursable:

  • Physical exam/labs (including additional labs that may be required)
  • Vaccines
  • Specialist evaluations (if requested) including (but not limited to) services such as:
    • Mental health evaluation
    • Allergy-related services, including allergy testing
    • Cardiology-related services, including EKG
    • Gastroenterology-related services, including colon cancer screening
    • Evaluation for latent tuberculosis (TB)
    • Imaging: X-rays, ultrasounds

Examples of services that are not reimbursable:

  • Dental treatment: Tooth extraction, fillings, crowns, and retainers/mouth guards, etc.
  • Eyeglasses
  • Treatment of any type, including but not limited to:
    • Surgery
    • Prescriptions to bring to your country of service
    • Vision correction surgery

Vaccinations required before service

Before you depart the United States for Peace Corps, Invitees are required to have proof of immunity to, or vaccination against, the following diseases:

  • COVID-19 and appropriate boosters
  • Hepatitis A (Hepatitis A vaccine or Hepatitis A antibody level)
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) – Exempt if born in U.S. before January 1, 1957
  • Pneumococcal – for those 65 and older, and with certain medical conditions
  • Polio (childhood series plus booster after age 18). (The booster is 100% reimbursed.)
  • Tetanus (childhood series plus a current booster, not more than 7 years old, and at least one dose of Tdap as an adult)
  • Varicella (chicken pox) – Exempt if born in U.S. before January 1, 1980
  • Yellow fever vaccine may also be required for some countries, prior to service because it is required to enter the country of invitation or required for transit. Your yellow fever vaccination must be documented in the WHO International Certificate of Vaccination (yellow card). Yellow fever vaccine is 100% reimbursed.

Other than COVID-19 and yellow fever, these are vaccines you should have had as a child, or have immunity to because you had the disease.

If you do not have access to your childhood vaccination records, positive antibody titers (a blood test which checks for immunity) for MMR and Varicella can be submitted in lieu of vaccination. Attestation that childhood polio vaccinations were received is acceptable for some cases in lieu of vaccination.

Vaccinations provided during service 

The Peace Corps will provide all other required vaccines in your specific country of service that you have not already received. These are mandatory for all Volunteers in order to remain in service. With the exception of Peace Corps Response Volunteers, you do not need to receive any of these before you leave for service.

Peace Corps Response Volunteers will be required to obtain additional vaccinations prior to service and will receive specific instructions during the medical clearance process.

These may include:

  • COVID-19
  • Hepatitis A & B
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Rabies
  • Tick-Borne Encephalitis
  • Typhoid

For more information, contact [email protected] or 202.692.1504.