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Quick Facts about the Yellow Fever Vaccine

Considering a trip to Africa or South America? The yellow fever vaccine may be required for entry. Here are some quick facts about the yellow fever vaccine.

The yellow fever vaccine is highly effective in protecting against yellow fever infection. This immunity develops within 30 days for the majority of recipients, but the vaccine certificate is accepted for travel starting 10 days after vaccination. Be sure to plan ahead in order to receive this vaccine before departure.

The World Health Organization abolished the 10 year booster rule in regards to yellow fever vaccination. Now yellow fever certificates are valid for life, and there is no need to get yellow cards re-written to show they don’t expire. All countries should accept proof of vaccination from any year.

The small increase in antibodies may also go away after a period of time and return to pre-booster vaccine levels.

Because antibodies are protective for so long, the 10 year rule was unnecessary. A booster may be recommended for some people, but for most, a single shot is good for life.

If you remember where you received your yellow fever vaccine, you can contact that location to try to retrieve your immunization records. Some state immunization registries can also store this information. If you are unable to locate your records, you may have to get re-vaccinated.

Congenital infection or defects can occur with yellow fever vaccination of pregnant women. It is recommended to avoid travel to countries where there is risk of yellow fever until after the birth of the child.

Children are also unable to be vaccinated until at least 6 months of age, but waiting until 9 months is ideal. In some countries in Africa, yellow fever vaccination is required for those over 1 year of age.

In South America, yellow fever outbreaks usually occur in forested, jungle areas. The more urban locations are less likely to allow for mosquito breeding. Yellow fever is not easily treatable, and symptoms often appear 3 to 6 days after being bitten.

The first phase of yellow fever has similar symptoms to the flu like fever, muscle pains, headache, but the second phase of yellow fever can be deadly. The second phase includes yellowing of the skin and eyes (hence the ‘yellow’ fever).

In conclusion, the yellow fever vaccine prevents yellow fever infection and is safe for most ages. Travel clinics are the main provider of yellow fever vaccines because clinics have to be yellow fever vaccine certified to carry these vaccines. Call Away Clinic to learn more about yellow fever vaccination and to make an appointment.

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