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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:

More serious complications include:

Treatment involves taking care of the infected person while they recover. There is no medication to treat the illness.

Illness from yellow fever varies from a self-limited illness to hemorrhagic fever, which can be very severe and lead to death.

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 administered by a shot.

Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?  ^

Vaccination is the best way to prevent yellow fever. The yellow fever vaccine is recommended for those who are traveling to or living in areas where the disease is present. Your doctor will help you decide if the vaccine is right for you. The vaccine may be inappropriate for certain individuals.

What Are the Risks Associated With Yellow Fever Vaccine?  ^

Common minor side effects include:

Rare, serious side effects include:

Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?  ^

The vaccine should not be given to:

What Other Ways Can Yellow Fever Be Prevented Besides Vaccination?  ^

To decrease your chance of getting yellow fever:

What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?  ^

An outbreak of yellow fever in the United States is unlikely since the virus is not geographically present in this country. But, in the event of an outbreak, uninfected people would be vaccinated and precautions would be taken to reduce transmission.


Vaccine and Immunizations
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization


Jentes ES, Poumerol G, Gershman MD, et al. The revised global yellow fever risk map and recommendations for vaccination, 2010: consensus of the Informal WHO Working Group on Geographic Risk for Yellow Fever. Lancet Infect Dis. 2011;11(8):622-632.

Khromava AY, Eidex RB, Weld LH, et al. Yellow Fever Vaccine Safety Working Group. Yellow fever vaccine: an updated assessment of advanced age as a risk factor for serious adverse events. Vaccine. 2005;23(25):3256-63.

Staples JE, Gershman M, Fischer M. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Yellow fever vaccine: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Recomm Rep. 2010;59(RR-7):1-27.

Thomas RE, Lorenzetti DL, Spragins W, Jackson D, Williamson T. Active and passive surveillance of yellow fever vaccine 17D or 17DD-associated serious adverse events: systematic review. Vaccine. 2011;29(28):4544-4555.

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Vaccine Education Center. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia website. Available at: Updated March 2013. Accessed June 14, 2014.

Yellow fever vaccine. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated May 20, 2013. Accessed June 19, 2014.

Yellow fever VIS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: Updated June 18, 2013. Accessed June 19, 2014.

2/19/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance Transmission of yellow fever vaccine virus through breast-feeding—Brazil, 2009. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). 2010;59(05):130.

5/28/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance World Health Organization. Weekly Epidemiological Record. 2013 May 17; 88 (20): 201-16. Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Available at: Accessed June 19, 2014.

Last reviewed May 2014 by David L. Horn, MD, FACPLast Updated: 6/19/2014