Yellow Fever Vaccine

Who Should Not Get the Vaccine?

The following groups of people should not get the yellow fever vaccine:
  • People who have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to eggs, chicken, gelatin, or to a previous yellow fever vaccine.
  • Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid or postpone travel to a yellow fever area. If travel cannot be avoided, discuss vaccination with your doctor.
  • Infants younger than nine months of age. For infants six to eight months of age who cannot avoid travel to a yellow fever area, discuss vaccination with the doctor. Under no circumstances should infants younger than six months of age be vaccinated.
Check with your doctor before getting this vaccine if you:
  • Have a history of allergy to eggs, chicken, or gelatin
  • Have HIV/AIDS, or another disease that affects the immune system
  • Have been under treatment for two weeks or longer with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids
  • Have any kind of cancer
  • Are taking cancer treatment with x-rays or drugs
  • Have had your thymus gland removed, or if you have a history of problems with your thymus, such as myasthenia gravis, DiGeorge syndrome, or thymoma (tumor of the thymus).
If you are 65 or older, you and your physician should discuss the risks and benefits of the yellow fever vaccine. This discussion should be in the context of your risk for exposure to yellow fever virus, based on your destination.
If you cannot get the yellow fever vaccine because of a medical condition, and proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for your travel, your doctor can give you a waiver letter. When planning to use a waiver letter, you should also obtain specific advice from the embassy of the country, or countries, you plan to visit.
If you cannot get the vaccine, talk with your doctor about other ways to prevent yellow fever.

Information on Yellow Fever

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