Yellow Fever Vaccine

What Is Yellow Fever?

Yellow fever is a virus that is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. Risk factors for getting yellow fever include traveling to an area where yellow fever is present.Symptoms for yellow fever include:
  • High fever
  • Chills and muscle aches
  • Yellowing of the skin, known as jaundice
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Backache
More serious complications include:Treatment involves supportive care. There is no medication to treat the illness.

What Is the Yellow Fever Vaccine?

The vaccine is a weakened, live form of the yellow fever virus. The vaccine is created by growing the live virus in a lab. The vaccine is given by a shot.

Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?

Vaccination is the best way to prevent yellow fever. The yellow fever vaccine is advised for those who are traveling to or living in areas where the disease is present. Ask your doctor if the vaccine is right for you.

What Are the Risks Associated With Yellow Fever Vaccine?

Common minor side effects include:
  • Fever
  • Soreness, swelling, or redness at the injection site
  • Muscle aches
Rare, serious side effects include:
  • Nervous system reaction
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Organ failure

Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?

The vaccine should not be given to:
  • Infants aged 6 months or younger—In rare cases when your 6-8 month-old baby must travel to high-risk areas, talk to the doctor about the vaccine.
  • People over the age of 60 are at higher risk for serious complications. If you are traveling to a high-risk area, consult an infectious disease specialist to find out if vaccination is a good choice for you.
  • People who:
    • Are severely allergic to eggs, chicken, or gelatin
    • Have a disease that weakens the immune system, such as HIV infection—If you are traveling to high-risk areas, talk to your doctor about the vaccine.
    • Are receiving treatments that weaken the immune system, such as cancer treatment
    • Have cancer
    • Have problems with the thymus or have had their thymus removed
    • Are pregnant—Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of the vaccine if you are traveling to a high-risk area. If you are vaccinated, your doctor may use a blood test to confirm immunity.
    • Are breastfeeding—If you are traveling to high-risk areas, talk to your doctor about the vaccine.

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