Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever can be defined as a viral hemorrhagic disease that is easily transferred between humans or animals through the bites of mosquitoes infected by yellow fever. Generally, yellow fever is widespread in Africa and Latin America. However, importation of this disease has made yellow fever widespread throughout the world. According to statistics, yellow fever infections stand at 200,000 people per year globally. This disease is characterized by chills, vomiting, nausea, headaches as well as muscle pains. The vaccination against yellow fever is done in regions where the disease is widespread. In this article, you will learn when and where you can get vaccinated and the precautions you should take.

Who Should Be Vaccinated Against Yellow Fever?

It is important to get the yellow fever vaccination if you are:

  • A lab technician or helper where you have the likelihood of handling infected materials.
  • Travelling to countries that require you to have a prophylaxis (ICVP) or an international vaccination certificate to be allowed access. This certificate acts as proof of your vaccination against this disease.
  • Living in or traveling to a country where yellow fever is prevalent.

It is required that you have this vaccination at least ten days before your travel day. This gives the vaccination enough time to create protection for your body in time for your travel. Moreover, the certificate is only valid after 10 days of having the vaccination. If you plan on living or continuously traveling to yellow fever prone areas, a booster dose of the vaccine is to be administered to you after ten years.

Who Should Not Get Yellow Fever Vaccination?

Those who should not be vaccinated against yellow fever include:

  • Infants under the age of nine months. Infants between 6 and 9 months should only be vaccinated against yellow fever if it is impossible to avoid infection during travel to prevalent regions.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women. This too should only be done if there is no other way of preventing the infection from this disease.
  • Immunosuppressed persons. This simply accounts for people with suppressed immune systems. This includes individuals with HIV and patients undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
  • Individuals who are allergic to eggs and the yellow fever vaccine – this is because the yellow fever vaccine has traces of egg.
  • Individuals with allergies to any of the ingredients used to make the vaccine.
  • Individuals with a condition affecting the thymus gland. This is simply a section of the immune system that is in the upper chest.
  • Individuals who are unwell at the time of the scheduled for the vaccination. Getting the vaccine while unwell can lead to misdiagnosis of the condition you’re ailing from.
  • Yellow fever naïve travellers – this includes individuals who are above the age of 60 and are travelling to yellow fever prone regions for the first time. This is unless the risk of contracting yellow fever is high.

Where Should You Get Yellow Fever Vaccination?

The yellow fever vaccine is only administered in registered health clinics. In order for a health center to be certified to offer yellow fever vaccines, it is required to be registered with the relevant authorities.

For more information on US based clinics where you can get the vaccine, go to

Countries Where Yellow Fever Is Endemic

African Countries


Republic of the

Côte d’Ivoire (Congo)

Sao tome and Principe


Equatorial guinea


Burkina Faso


Sierra Leone







Cape Verde


South Sudan

Central African republic




Guinea Bissau








Democratic republic of Congo



South America and Central America


French Guiana

Trinidad and Tobago











French Guiana


What Is the Difference Between Recommended and Required Vaccination?

Vaccination against yellow fever is recommended when you intend to travel to regions where there is a high risk of contracting yellow fever. This recommendation is done as a safety measure and for the protection of your health. Currently, yellow fever is mostly prevalent in sub Saharan Africa and some parts of South America.

You are required to get a yellow fever vaccine if the government of the state you intend to travel to requires proof by certification of vaccination. This requirement is for the purposes of protection against the importation of yellow fever and its spread in foreign states.

Side Effects of Yellow Fever Vaccination

Once you get the yellow fever vaccination, you may or may not suffer from side effects. Some common side effects include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Soreness of the area of injection
  • Mild fever

Some reaction on the area of injection may last for up to five days after injection. However, some side effects can go for up to 14 days.

Even so, allergic cases are very few and only occur at a ratio of 1:130,000 of vaccines administered.


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