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Yellow Fever Vaccine

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Brand Name: YF Vax

Generic Name: Yellow Fever Vaccine

Drug Class: Vaccines, Live, Viral; Vaccines, Travel

What Is Yellow Fever Vaccine and How Does It Work?

Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by a virus that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Yellow fever can cause fever and flu-like illness, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), liver failure, respiratory failure, kidney failure, vomiting of blood, and possibly death.

The yellow fever vaccine is used to help prevent this disease in adults and children who are at least 9 months old. This vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of the virus, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

Yellow fever vaccine is recommended for people who plan to live in or travel to areas where yellow fever is known to exist, or where an epidemic has recently occurred. The vaccine should also be given to people who will spend any amount of time in rural areas where yellow fever is endemic, or those who are otherwise at high risk of coming into contact with the virus.

You should receive the vaccine at least 10 days prior to your arrival in an area where you may be exposed to the virus.

Yellow fever vaccine is also recommended for people who work in a research laboratory and may be exposed to yellow fever virus through needle-stick accidents or inhalation of viral droplets in the air.

Like any vaccine, the yellow fever vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

Yellow Fever Vaccine is available under the following different brand names: YF Vax.

Dosages of Yellow Fever Vaccine:

Injection (17D-204 strain)

  • At least 4.74 log 10 plaque-forming units/0.5 ml

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Yellow Fever

Adult Dosage:

  • Prophylaxis: 0.5 ml subcutaneously at least 10 days before travel
  • A single, lifetime dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient for most people traveling to endemic areas, although some high-risk groups may benefit from a booster dose according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
  • Booster/additional dose for high-risk groups
  • A single primary dose of yellow fever vaccine provides long-lasting protection and is adequate for most travelers
  • Additional doses of yellow fever vaccine recommended for
    • Women who were pregnant (regardless of trimester) when they received their initial dose of yellow fever vaccine should receive 1 additional dose before their next travel that puts them at risk for yellow fever virus infection
    • ersons who received a hematopoietic stem cell transplant after receiving a dose of yellow fever vaccine and who are sufficiently immunocompetent to be safely vaccinated should be revaccinated before their next travel that puts them at risk for yellow fever virus infection
    • Booster dose for high risk after 10 years
    • A booster dose may be given to travelers who received their last dose of yellow fever vaccine at least 10 years previously and who will be in a higher-risk setting based on season, location, activities, and duration of their travel
    • Persons who were infected with HIV when they received their last dose of yellow fever vaccine should receive a dose every 10 years
    • Travelers who plan to spend a prolonged period in endemic areas or those traveling to highly endemic areas such as rural West Africa during peak transmission season or an area with an ongoing outbreak
    • Laboratory workers who routinely handle wild-type yellow fever virus should have yellow fever virus–specific neutralizing antibody titers measured at least every 10 year to determine if they should receive additional doses of the vaccine
    • For laboratory workers who are unable to have neutralizing antibody titers measured, yellow fever vaccine should be given every 10 year as long as they remain at risk

Pediatric Dosage:

  • Infants over 6 months (off-label): 0.5 mL subcutaneously for 1 dose at least 10 days before travel
  • Infants over 9 months: 0.5 mL subcutaneously for 1 dose at least 10 days before travel
  • A single, lifetime dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient for most people traveling to endemic areas, although some high-risk groups may benefit from a booster dose according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention's
  • Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
  • MMWR June 19, 2015:64(23);647-650
  • Booster/additional dose for high-risk groups
    • A single primary dose of yellow fever vaccine provides long-lasting protection and is adequate for most travelers
    • Additional doses of yellow fever vaccine recommended for
      • Persons who received a hematopoietic stem cell transplant after receiving a dose of yellow fever vaccine and who are sufficiently immunocompetent to be safely vaccinated should be revaccinated before their next travel that puts them at risk for yellow fever virus infection
    • Booster dose for high risk after 10 years
      • A booster dose may be given to travelers who received their last dose of yellow fever vaccine at least 10 year previously and who will be in a higher-risk setting based on season, location, activities, and duration of their travel
      • Persons who were infected with HIV when they received their last dose of yellow fever vaccine should receive a dose every 10 years
      • Travelers who plan to spend a prolonged period in endemic areas or those traveling to highly endemic areas such as rural West Africa during peak transmission season or an area with an ongoing outbreak
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/1/2017



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