Yellow Fever Vaccine

The yellow fever vaccine requires only one shot and provides protection for 10 years or more. Getting yellow fever is much riskier than getting the vaccine; however, just like with any medicine, there are possible risks with this vaccine. Some of the possible side effects include soreness, fever, and allergic reaction.

What Is the Yellow Fever Vaccine?

Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by the yellow fever virus. It is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is found in certain parts of Africa and South America.
The yellow fever vaccine can prevent yellow fever (see Yellow Fever Prevention).

Vaccine Schedule

The yellow fever vaccine is a live-virus vaccine that has been used for several decades. The vaccine requires only one shot. If a person is in a yellow fever endemic area for more than 10 years, he or she will need a booster shot.
The yellow fever vaccine is given only at approved vaccination centers.
After receiving the yellow fever vaccine, you should receive an International Certificate of Vaccination (yellow card) that has been validated by the vaccination center. This certificate becomes valid 10 days after vaccination and lasts for 10 years. You will need this card as proof of vaccination to enter certain countries. Please make sure you discuss your travel itinerary with your doctor or nurse before you receive your yellow fever vaccination.

Who Should Get the Yellow Fever Vaccine?

The following groups of people should get the yellow fever vaccine:
  • People nine months of age or older who are traveling to or living in a country that requires yellow fever vaccination. Check with your healthcare provider for more information.
  • People nine months of age or older who are traveling to a country that does not require yellow fever vaccination, but is located in an area where the risk of yellow fever is known to exist. Again, check with your healthcare provider.
If you continue to live or travel in yellow fever-endemic areas, you should receive a booster dose of this vaccine after 10 years.
The yellow fever vaccine may be given at the same time as most other vaccines.

Information on Yellow Fever

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