Yellow fever is a mosquito borne disease that is endemic to certain Latin American and sub Saharan African countries.

International health regulations require that a yellow fever vaccination that is protection against the disease is required prior to travel to certain countries that include tropical America and parts of Africa.

When is the yellow fever vaccination required to be taken?

Travel to countries listed here, such as Angola, Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda and others in Africa; 33 countries in all, requires one to produce a Yellow fever vaccination certificate.

Also listed at the site are the Central and South American counties such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, before traveling to which the yellow fever vaccination is required.

The need for getting a yellow fever vaccination is greater when traveling to the African countries since the risk of infection is higher there.

Many countries require incoming foreign travelers to carry a certificate of yellow fever vaccination, even those arriving from countries with no particular risk of yellow fever. The yellow fever vaccination is therefore indicated.

When is the yellow fever vaccination not indicated?

The yellow fever vaccination is not indicated for

  • Infants below 6 months of age,
  • for pregnant women
  • for lactating women,
  • for immune compromised patients,
  • for those with HIV or AIDS,
  • those who have had a reaction to or have shown hypersensitivity to a previous dose and
  • for those who are allergic to eggs.

What are the possible complications of the Yellow Fever Vaccination?

For the most part the yellow fever vaccine has been seen to be safe. Though some rare complications are known to occur, for the most part the benefit and immunity accorded by the vaccine outweigh those risks as negligible.

This is because yellow fever is a potentially deadly disease, particularly when it progresses to second jaundice inducing stage that can be hemorrhagic.

There is also no specific yellow fever treatment other than symptomatic treatment of the manifestations of the disease.

Possible risks or complications that may occur from administration of the yellow fever vaccine are as follows:

  • Most of the complications arising from yellow fever vaccinations have to do with allergic reactions to eggs in which the vaccine is actually developed. For those that are allergic to eggs and require to take a yellow fever vaccine, the fact of the allergy must be discussed with their doctor
  • There is a slight risk of neurological disease and encephalitis occurring from this vaccine’s administration. This is in particular to very young children and those that have weak immune systems. This is the reason that the vaccine is not indicated for the groups of people as stated above.
  • There is also some risk for the elderly from this vaccine since there is the apprehension of a rare reaction that could cause multiple organ failure.
Yellow fever