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Yellow Fever Vaccine

"The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program offers vaccines at no cost for eligible children through doctors enrolled in the program. Find out if your child qualifies. Vaccinating on time means healthier children, families and communities.

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Yf-Vax

Yf-Vax Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving yellow fever vaccine (Yf-Vax)?

You should not receive this vaccine if you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a yellow fever vaccine, or if you have:

  • an allergy to gelatin, eggs, or chicken proteins;
  • a chronic disease such as asthma or other breathing disorder, diabetes, kidney disease, or blood cell disorders such as anemia;
  • a weak immune system caused by disease (such as cancer, HIV, or AIDS);
  • if you are receiving treatments that can weaken the immune system (such as radiation, chemotherapy, or steroids); or
  • if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Tell your doctor if anyone living with you has cancer or a weak immune system, or is receiving treatments that can weaken the immune system (such as radiation, chemotherapy, or steroids).

If you have a high risk of exposure to yellow fever, you may need to receive the vaccine even if you have an allergy to eggs or chicken products. Your doctor can give you the vaccine in several small doses to avoid an allergic reaction.

To make sure you can safely receive yellow fever vaccine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • a history of seizures;
  • an allergy to latex rubber;
  • a neurologic disorder or disease affecting the brain (or if this was a reaction to a previous vaccine);
  • a history of myasthenia gravis, tumor of the thymus gland, or if your thymus gland has been surgically removed; or
  • a weak immune system caused by disease (such as cancer, HIV, or AIDS), or by taking certain medicines such as steroids.

You can still receive a vaccine if you have a cold or fever. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine.

Vaccines may be harmful to an unborn baby and generally should not be given to a pregnant woman. However, not vaccinating the mother could be more harmful to the baby if the mother becomes infected with a disease that this vaccine could prevent. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive this vaccine, especially if you have a high risk of infection with yellow fever.

You should not receive this vaccine if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Children younger than 9 months old should not receive this vaccine, and should not travel to areas where yellow fever is known to exist.

How is yellow fever vaccine given (Yf-Vax)?

This vaccine is injected into a muscle. You will receive this injection in a doctor's office or clinic setting.

Yellow fever vaccine is given every 10 years to people who are at risk of exposure to yellow fever. The first shot can be given to a child who is at least 9 months old. Your individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In addition to receiving yellow fever vaccine, use protective clothing, insect repellents, and mosquito netting around your bed to further prevent mosquito bites that could infect you with the yellow fever virus.

If you continue to travel or live in areas where yellow fever is common, you should receive a booster dose of yellow fever vaccine every 10 years.

After receiving the vaccine, you will be given an International Certificate of Vaccination (yellow card) from the office or clinic where you receive your yellow fever vaccine. This certificate should contain the date you received the vaccine, as well as the vaccine's lot number and manufacturer. You will need this card as proof of vaccination to enter certain countries. This card becomes valid 10 days after you receive the vaccination and remains valid for 10 years.

Your doctor may recommend treating fever and pain with an aspirin-free pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others) when the shot is given and for the next 24 hours. Follow the label directions or your doctor's instructions about how much of this medicine to take. It is especially important to prevent fever from occurring if you have a seizure disorder such as epilepsy.

This vaccine can cause false results on a skin test for tuberculosis for up to 6 weeks. Tell any doctor who treats you if you have received a yellow fever vaccine within the past 4 to 6 weeks.

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