Yellow Fever Vaccine: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages

What Is Yellow Fever?

According to the CDC, yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease present in Africa and South America. The infection can range from mild to severe. Vaccination is the best protection against this virus.

Mild symptoms of yellow fever include: fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal and muscle pains. More severe symptoms include hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever.

While yellow fever is not present throughout the globe, yellow fever vaccination is important because of the virus’s high mortality rate.

Some countries like Ghana and Brazil require all or some travelers receive the immunization to enter the country.

In addition to receiving a yellow fever vaccine, travelers should be sure to use appropriate mosquito repellents or netting. These are also available through Passport Health. Find a location near you.

What Is the Yellow Fever Vaccine?

The yellow fever vaccine provides protection against the virus for travelers and those living in areas where the disease is present. The vaccine is only available in an injectable form.

Because the yellow fever vaccine is very safe and the disease risk is high, the CDC recommends this vaccine for adults and children over 9 months who will be traveling to high-risk areas.

Some countries require proof of yellow fever immunization for entry. Because of this, all individuals who receive a yellow fever vaccination at Passport Health also receive an International Certificate of Vaccination (or ‘yellow card’) to certify they have been immunized. This card is what will be presented at an international entry point in most cases.

Where Can I Get The Yellow Fever Vaccine?

Only registered Yellow Fever Vaccination Centers like Passport Health can give the yellow fever vaccine and provide the International Certificate of Vaccination (“yellow card”) to travelers and other individuals. After receiving the vaccine at Passport Health you will receive an International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV) completed, signed and validated with the official stamp.

How To Prevent Yellow Fever

The best way to prevent yellow fever is through vaccination. But, you should take extra precautions if you are in an area with the virus. The CDC recommends travelers do the following to prevent mosquito bites in these regions:

  • Use Insect Repellent – Be sure to use an EPA-registered insect repellent. These include repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Wear Proper Clothing – When possible, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when engaging in outdoor activities. Consider using a spray-on clothing repellent like permethrin for extra protection.
  • Be Aware of Peak Hours – Mosquitoes bite the most at dusk and dawn. Be sure to take extra precautions during this time.

Where does Yellow Fever occur?

Yellow fever is common in sub-Saharan Africa (where it is endemic), countries in South America and a few other parts of the world.

Many countries that do not require yellow fever vaccination for entry, do require proof of the yellow fever vaccine if coming from an infected region. The vaccine is recommended for travel outside urban areas especially in yellow fever endemic zones.

Fatal cases of yellow fever have occurred in unvaccinated tourists visiting areas within the yellow fever endemic zone. Some countries require a traveler, even if only in transit, to have a valid international certificate of yellow fever vaccination if he or she has been in a country either known or thought to harbor yellow fever.