The yellow fever vaccine is a vaccine used to protect against yellow fever, a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes.
The yellow fever vaccine is highly effective in preventing yellow fever infection. It provides long-lasting immunity, often for life, after a single dose. In some cases, a booster dose may be recommended after 10 years for continued protection.
The yellow fever vaccine is recommended for individuals travelling to or living in areas where yellow fever is endemic or where there is a risk of exposure to the virus. These areas include parts of sub-Saharan Africa and tropical regions of South America. Some countries may require proof of yellow fever vaccination for entry.
The yellow fever vaccine is administered as a single injection, usually into the upper arm. It should be administered at least 10 days before potential exposure to the virus to allow for the development of protective immunity. If immediate protection is required due to an imminent risk of exposure, a certificate of vaccination can be issued after vaccination, but it may not provide long-lasting immunity.
The yellow fever vaccine is generally safe. Most people tolerate it well with minimal side effects. Common side effects may include soreness at the injection site, mild fever, headache, and muscle aches. Serious adverse events are rare but can occur, including severe allergic reactions. The vaccine is not recommended for certain individuals, such as those with severe allergies to eggs or previous severe reactions to the vaccine.
After receiving the yellow fever vaccine, some countries may require a valid International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) as proof of vaccination. This certificate is often referred to as the “yellow card.” It should be obtained from an authorised vaccination centre and is valid for life. Be sure to check the requirements of your destination country regarding yellow fever vaccination and certification.
It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or travel health clinic before travelling to regions where yellow fever is endemic. They can provide up-to-date information on vaccination requirements, assess your individual health status, and provide personalised recommendations for vaccination and travel health precautions.