Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by the yellow fever virus. It is found in certain parts of Africa and South America. Yellow fever is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.
Many people infected with the yellow fever virus do not have symptoms. Symptoms that develop can include fever and flu-like symptoms, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), bleeding from multiple body sites, liver, kidney, respiratory and other organ failure, and death (20% – 50% of serious cases).
How can I prevent Yellow Fever?
In addition to protecting yourself against mosquitoes, the yellow fever vaccine can prevent yellow fever disease. The vaccine is given only at designated yellow fever vaccine centres.
Who should receive the Yellow Fever vaccine?
Travelers to certain areas of Africa or South America should receive the yellow fever vaccine. The vaccine can be given to adults and children 9 months of age and older. The yellow fever vaccine may be a requirement to enter certain countries.
Yellow Fever vaccine schedule:
A single dose of the yellow fever vaccine creates protection for life. A booster may be recommended after 10 years if traveling to an area with an ongoing outbreak of yellow fever vaccine.
After receiving a full dose of the vaccine an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis is provided which is required for entry by certain countries.
There is currently an extreme shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in North America so a full dose of the vaccine is not always available. When travelling to an area with yellow fever risk, especially to areas experiencing an outbreak, the best option is to receive a full dose of the vaccine or to postpone travel. When this is not possible, the Public Health Agency of Canada has recommended the use of a fractional dose of yellow fever vaccine. Based on existing evidence the World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that a fifth of the standard vaccine dose (0.1mL instead of 0.5mL) will provide protection against yellow fever for at least 12 months.
The WHO states that a fractional dose does not qualify for a yellow fever certificate. Therefore, when receiving a fractional dose travelers are provided with a waiver which is valid for 12 months beginning 10 days after vaccination. An explanation that the traveller received a fractional dose due to a severe vaccine shortage is written on the waiver.
Call us at 604-251-1975 to arrange an appointment or to receive further information about the Yellow Fever vaccine.
Visit our Kitsilano clinic for a pre-travel consultation and vaccinations to protect your health.
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