Home > Yellow Fever Vaccine: What You Need to Know
Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by the yellow
fever virus. It is found in certain parts of Africa and
Yellow fever is spread through the bite of an infected
mosquito. It cannot be spread person to person by direct
People with yellow fever disease usually have to be
hospitalized. Yellow fever can cause:
Yellow fever vaccine can prevent yellow fever.
Yellow fever vaccine is given only at designated
After getting the vaccine, you should be given a stamped
and signed "International Certificate of Vaccination or
Prophylaxis" (yellow card). This certificate becomes
valid 10 days after vaccination and is good for 10 years.
You will need this card as proof of vaccination to
enter certain countries. Travelers without proof of
vaccination could be given the vaccine upon entry or
detained for up to 6 days to make sure they are not
Discuss your itinerary with your doctor or nurse before
you get your yellow fever vaccination. Consult your
health department or visit CDC's travel information
website at www.cdc.gov/travel to learn yellow fever
vaccine requirements and recommendations for different
Another way to prevent yellow fever is to avoid
mosquito bites by:
Yellow fever vaccine is a live, weakened virus. It is
given as a single shot. For people who remain at risk, a
booster dose is recommended every 10 years.
Yellow fever vaccine may be given at the same time as
most other vaccines.
Information for travelers can be found online through
CDC (www.cdc.gov/travel), the World Health
Organization (www.who.int), and the Pan American
Health Organization (www.paho.org).
You should not donate blood for 14 days following the
vaccination, because there is a risk of transmitting the
vaccine virus through blood products during that period.
Your doctor will help you decide whether you can
receive the vaccine.
If you cannot get the vaccine for medical reasons, but
require proof of yellow fever vaccination for travel, your
doctor can give you a waiver letter if he considers the
risk acceptably low. If you plan to use a waiver, you
should also contact the embassy of the countries you
plan to visit for more information
A vaccine, like any medicine, could cause a serious
reaction. But the risk of a vaccine causing serious harm,
or death, is extremely low.
Yellow fever vaccine has been associated with fever, and
with aches, soreness, redness or swelling where the shot
These problems occur in up to 1 person in 4. They
usually begin soon after the shot and can last up to a
These last two problems have never been reported after a
Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives,
swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing,
a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These
would start a few minutes to a few hours after the
VAERS is only for reporting reactions. They do not give medical advice.
Vaccine Information Statement
Yellow Fever Vaccine
Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Many Vaccine Information Statements are available in Spanish and other languages. See www.immunize.org/vis.
Muchas hojas de información sobre vacunas están disponibles en español y en otros idiomas. Visite www.immunize.org/vis.
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