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What is Yellow Fever Disease?

Yellow Fever is a dangerous virus spread to people from mosquitos bites.  Infection often causes serious illness requiring hospitalization and  sometimes death.  Because the virus attacks the liver causing jaundice (yellowing of the skin) and results in high fever the disease is referred to as Yellow Fever.

Where is Risk of Infection?

Transmission of Yellow Fever disease occurs in over 40 countries in the continents of Africa and South America along with a region in Panama. Since outbreaks still happen today, many countries require proof of vaccination for all arriving travelers 9 months and older.  The World Health Organization (WHO) aims to eliminate outbreaks with mass vaccination campaigns in highest risk countries.

The yellow fever vaccine is recommended for many African safari locations
Malaria infects people from a mosquito bite and is found in over 90 countries around the world. Don't leave for your trip unaware of your risk, talk to your travel health specialist if malaria medication is needed.

How Do I Protect Myself ?

Receiving the Yellow Fever vaccine is the single best prevention and protection measure against infection.  Keep in mind, only clinics with a special designation can provide the immunization. Destination Health is one of the few clinics in Western Massachusetts with this certification.

What is a Yellow Fever Vaccination Clinic?

International rules for administration and documentation of the Yellow Fever vaccine exist to ensure quality and safety. In the US, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) oversees the certification of Yellow Fever vaccination sites. 

Destination Health Travel Clinic completes special training annually from the CDC to store, administer, and document the vaccine.

Who Needs the Yellow Fever Vaccine?

All travelers 9 months and older must comply with vaccination if traveling to a country that requires the vaccine.  While other countries may not mandate the vaccine for entry, the vaccine is still recommended because mosquitos in the country carry the disease. Deciding if you need a Yellow Fever vaccine is sometimes a complex decision.  During your appointment, the nurse will review your travel plans and give clear advice if vaccination is right you.

How Do I Show Proof of Vaccination?

Following receipt of the Yellow Fever vaccine, the nurse documents the injection in the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP).  This is also known as the “Yellow Card” and is a permanent immunization record.  Additionally, an official CDC stamp is added inside your “Yellow Card.”  Keep the vaccination record with your passport and show it at the customs and border protection checkpoint.

yellow fever vaccine is recommended for travel to iguazu falls or the amazon rainforest

How Often Do I Need a Yellow Fever Vaccine?

For most people a single dose is protective for lifetime, however, CDC recommends a booster dose every 10 years for some higher risk travelers.

How is the Shot Given?

The Yellow Fever vaccine is given as in injection on the back of the arm.  This immunization method is known as a subcutaneous injection and is different than a shot into the muscle.

Is the Vaccine Safe?

First developed over 80 years ago, the Yellow Fever vaccination has been administered to tens of millions of people safely.  In the United States, the YF-vax is the brand available and has approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  For the vast majority of people, the vaccine does not pose a health or safety risk. 

In some cases, people with a weak immune system due to a diagnosis or medication should not take the injection.  As part of your appointment, we will carefully review your health and medication history to ensure there are no safety concerns.

What are the Side Effects to the Yellow Fever Vaccine?
As with all vaccines given by injection, some soreness and redness at the injection site is expected and normal. Sometimes, tiredness, headache or fever can happen after vaccination, however, these symptoms typically last for a short time afterward. Serious adverse events are very rare and the nurse will provide an information sheet for reference. 

Which Countries Have Risk of Yellow Fever?

This list is for general information only.  Consult with a travel health specialist as updates occur and risk can vary greatly within a region of a country.  Deciding if a Yellow Fever vaccine is right for your trip often depends on your specific itinerary and risk can be low, moderate, or high.  

Countries in Africa with Risk of Transmission

Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Republic of the), Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia.

Countries in South American with Risk of Transmission

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, PanamaParaguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela

Which Countries Require Yellow Fever Vaccination?

Keep in mind, requirements for entry may change at any time and vary depending on specific travel details.     

Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, (Republic of the), Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda

Where Can I Find a Yellow Fever Vaccine Near Me?

Destination Health Travel Clinic keeps the Yellow Fever vaccine in-stock near you at any of our Massachusetts offices including, Braintree – South ShoreNatick – Framingham, or Springfield – Longmeadow.  Easy online scheduling or call for an appointment today. 

Other Common Travel Vaccinations

Traveling to a destination with Yellow Fever risk means additional vaccines may be recommended for your trip. Click to read more about the Typhoid Fever vaccine, Hepatitis A vaccine, and Polio vaccine.  Additionally, you may need to protect against other mosquito diseases like malaria with a prescription medication.