Yellow fever vaccine
Yellow fever is a tropical viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes. The disease is named after one of the symptoms that those affected may show: a yellowish tone in the eyes and skin caused by the inflammation of the liver. However, the most common symptoms are more flu-like, such as fever and muscle- and headaches. After a temporary improvement, the disease in about 15% of cases turns into a more severe phase with abdominal and back pain, high fever and yellow skin. Bruising and bleeding from the nose or bloody vomiting may also occur. There is no cure once you have been infected. The mortality rate is 10-30%. The time from infection to symptoms is about 3-6 days.
Yellow fever occurs in many countries in tropical Africa and in South America, especially in areas near the equator. The disease does not exist in Asia.
Who should be vaccinated?
You should be vaccinated if you are going to travel to areas where the disease occurs, unless it is not recommended for medical reasons, e.g. due to pregnancy or weakened immune system due to illness, medication or age. Genuine egg allergy sufferers (who may not eat eggs under any circumstances) should not be given the vaccine. People with thymus should also not be vaccinated.
Some countries require you to present a yellow fever vaccination certificate that is at least ten days old upon entry. You may also need to present proof of vaccination if you have made a longer stopover on the way to your destination in a country where yellow fever occurs. Some countries still require vaccination to be less than 10 years old, despite the WHO’s updated recommendations on lifelong protection.
Vaccine against Yellow Fever
There is an effective vaccine against Yellow Fever. The vaccine must be taken at least 10 days before departure. It is a live, attenuated, vaccine that can be given to children older than nine months and adults. If you are older than 60 years, an individual assessment is made where you weigh the risk of side effects of the vaccine against the risk of being exposed to infection during your journey.
Your Yellow Fever vaccination is documented in an international vaccination certificate that you keep as a valuable document.