Yellow Fever Vaccinations and Certificates for International Travel
What Is Yellow Fever?
Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne virus found throughout parts of Africa and South America. Unlike many other mosquito-borne infections, vaccines are available to protect against yellow fever. See below to learn more about the virus:
What Are the Symptoms of Yellow Fever?
Most individuals who contract yellow fever will show no symptoms. Some may have mild symptoms like fever, chills, headache or vomiting. The CDC estimates that one in every seven people who show any symptoms will develop a severe case of yellow fever.
Severe cases involve very high fevers, jaundice (yellow skin), bleeding, shock and organ failure. If you develop any of these symptoms while in a region with yellow fever, see a healthcare professional immediately.
How Does Yellow Fever Spread?
Yellow fever spreads to humans through mosquito bites. The virus cannot spread from person to person directly, only via mosquito bites.
Research suggests that most yellow fever outbreaks start with mosquitoes spreading the infection to primates, like monkeys. Other mosquitoes then carry the virus from the primates to humans in other environments, including cities. There, local mosquitoes can carry infection from person-to-person through bites.
Many towns and cities in affected regions regularly fog to kill or ward off mosquitoes, but these efforts do not provide complete protection. Health organizations recommend yellow fever vaccination for regions where the virus may be present.
Which Mosquitoes Carry Yellow Fever?
Yellow fever is primarily carried by Aedes and Haemagogus mosquitoes.
The Haemagogus mosquito is commonly found in Central and South America. Multiple yellow fever epidemics in those regions have been traced to the Haemagogus mosquito.
Aedes mosquitoes are found throughout the world and carry most mosquito-borne infections, not just yellow fever. The two most common subspecies of Aedes cause yellow fever, dengue and Zika virus, among other infections.
Health authorities recommend using mosquito-preventatives like repellents and netting as well as vaccination to avoid yellow fever and other mosquito-borne diseases.
Is There a Treatment or Cure for Yellow Fever?
There is no medicine or treatment for yellow fever. Most care involves alleviating pain and treating symptoms like headache and fever. Severe cases require hospitalization for close observation and care. Between 30 and 60 percent of individuals who have severe symptoms die from the virus.
What Is the Yellow Fever Vaccine?
The yellow fever vaccine is an injectable immunization the prevents yellow fever. The vaccine is recommended for many countries in Africa and South America, it is required for entry to some nations.
Who Should Get the Yellow Fever Vaccine?
The yellow fever vaccine is recommended for anyone traveling to a region where the virus is present. Individuals under nine-months or over 60-years-old may need to consult further with a healthcare provider before vaccination.
Who Should Not Get the Yellow Fever Vaccine?
Individuals under nine-months or over 60-years-old may need to consult a primary care provider before receiving the yellow fever vaccine. Other individuals who may need to consult a PCP before vaccination include:
- Pregnant women
- Individuals who have had their thymus removed or been diagnosed with a thymus disorder
- Those with a weakened immune system
- People who have had an allergic reaction to the yellow fever vaccine before or have any severe, life threatening allergies
- Those who may have received a vaccine in the last four weeks
If you are traveling to a region where yellow fever vaccination is recommended or required and cannot receive the vaccine, your doctor and a Passport Health professional can fill out a Medical Contraindications to Vaccination portion of your ‘yellow card’ and a waiver letter. Those with a waiver should contact the embassy of the country they will be visiting to ensure they have everything they will need to enter the country with a waiver.
Will I Need a Booster for the Yellow Fever Vaccine?
A single does of the yellow fever vaccine provides lifetime protection against the virus. While lifetime vaccination is recognized by the World Health Organization, some countries still require proof of vaccination within the last ten years for entry. Be sure to check with your Passport Health travel specialist before your trip to see if a second yellow fever immunization may be required for your trip.
Does the Yellow Fever Vaccine Have Any Side Effects?
Yellow fever vaccination side effects are generally mild and common to most vaccines. This includes redness at the injection site or mild muscle ache.
Individuals over 60-years-old or with a weakened immune system may need to consult with their primary care provider before vaccination. Side effects or drug interactions are more common with these groups.
Which Countries Have Yellow Fever?
Over 40 countries have at least some risk of yellow fever transmission including popular destinations like Peru, Brazil and Nigeria. See below to learn more:
Countries Where Yellow Fever Risk Exists
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Cote d’Ivoire
- Dem. Rep. of Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- French Guiana
- Rep. of Congo
- Sao Tome
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
- Trinidad and Tobago
Countries Where Yellow Fever Risk Exists
|Angola||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Angola.|
|Argentina||Recommended for travelers over 9 months of age going to Corrientes and Misiones Provinces. Usually not recommended for travel to other regions.|
|Benin||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Benin.|
|Bolivia||Recommended for most travelers over 9 months of age. May not be recommended for travel to high altitudes, be sure to check with a travel health specialist. Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever present.|
|Brazil||Generally recommended for all travelers over 9 months of age.|
|Burkina Faso||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Burkina Faso.|
|Burundi||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Burundi.|
|Cameroon||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Cameroon.|
|Central African Rep.||Vaccination is required for all travelers to CAR.|
|Chad||Generally recommended for all travelers over 9 months of age. Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Colombia||Recommended for most travelers over 9 months of age. May not be recommended for travel to high altitudes, be sure to check with a travel health specialist. Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Cote d’Ivoire||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Cote d’Ivoire.|
|DR Congo||Vaccination is required for all travelers to DRC.|
|Ecuador||Recommended for most travelers over 9 months of age. May not be recommended for travel to high altitudes, be sure to check with a travel health specialist. Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Equ. Guinea||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Equatorial Guinea.|
|Eritrea||Yellow fever is present in Eritrea, but rare. Travelers may be required to show proof of vaccination when entering another country from Eritrea despite the rarity of cases. If visiting another African nation after Eritrea, vaccination may be required.|
|Ethiopia||Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|French Guiana||Vaccination is required for all travelers to French Guiana.|
|Gabon||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Gabon.|
|Gambia||Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Ghana||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Ghana.|
|Guinea||Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Guinea-Bissau||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Guinea-Bissau.|
|Guyana||Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Kenya||Generally recommended for all travelers over 9 months of age. Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Liberia||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Liberia.|
|Mali||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Mali.|
|Mauritania||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Mauritania.|
|Niger||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Niger.|
|Nigeria||Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Panama||Generally recommended for all travelers over 9 months of age. Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Paraguay||Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Peru||Recommended for most travelers over 9 months of age. May not be recommended for travel to high altitudes, be sure to check with a travel health specialist. Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Rep. of Congo||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Rep. of Congo.|
|Rwanda||While present in some isolated parts of Rwanda, yellow fever is uncommon and vaccination is not generally recommended. Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Sao Tome||Yellow fever is present in Sao Tome but rare. Travelers may be required to show proof of vaccination when entering another country from Sao Tome despite the rarity of cases. If visiting another African nation after Sao Tome, vaccination may be required. Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Senegal||Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Sierra Leone||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Sierra Leone.|
|Somalia||While present in some isolated parts of Somalia, yellow fever is uncommon and vaccination is not generally recommended. Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|South Sudan||Vaccination is required for all travelers to South Sudan.|
|Sudan||Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Suriname||Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Tanzania||Yellow fever is present in Tanzania, but rare. Travelers may be required to show proof of vaccination when entering another country from Tanzania despite the rarity of cases. If visiting another African nation after Tanzania, vaccination may be required. Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Togo||Vaccination is required for all travelers to Togo.|
|Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Uganda||Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
|Zambia||Yellow fever is present in Zambia but rare. Travelers may be required to show proof of vaccination when entering another country from Zambia despite the rarity of cases. If visiting another African nation after Zambia, vaccination may be required. Required if arriving from a region with yellow fever.|
Which Countries Require Proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination (Yellow Card)?
Yellow fever is found in various parts of South America and Africa. Travelers to these regions are advised to receive a yellow fever vaccination before travel to the regions. But, some countries require proof of vaccination for entry or proof if arriving from a country with the virus. Learn more below:
Which Countries Require Proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination for Entry?
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Rep.
- Cote d’Ivoire
- DR Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- French Guiana
- Republic of Congo
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
Which Countries Require Proof of Vaccination If Arriving From a Region With Yellow Fever?
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Myanmar (Burma)
- Cape Verde
- Christmas Island
- Cocos Islands
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- French Polynesia
- New Caledonia
- Norfolk Island
- North Korea
- Papua New Guinea
- Pitcairn Islands
- Saint Helena
- Saint Kitts
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Martin
- Saint Vincent
- Sao Tome
- Saudi Arabia
- Sint Eustatius
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad and Tobago
Where Have Yellow Fever Outbreaks Occurred?
Yellow fever is believed to be as much as 3,000 years old. The first recorded outbreak was in the Yucatan Peninsula in 1648. Since that time, other major outbreaks have occurred in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Cuba and Panama.
In recent years, many countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Peru and Brazil have experienced yellow fever outbreaks. The WHO estimates around 170,000 people contract the virus each year, leading to an estimated 60,000 deaths.
Frequently Asked Questions – Yellow Fever
Which Yellow Fever Vaccine Can I Get?
Currently, only YF-Vax is available in the United States. This vaccine has been available for over 50 years and provides lifetime protection.
Do I Need a Prescription to Get a Yellow Fever Vaccine?
No, a prescription is not required to get a yellow fever vaccine from Passport Health.
Passport Health works directly with nurses and doctors to ensure the highest quality travel health care. We are able to provide the yellow fever, and other key vaccines, to you directly, no need to visit a PCP before coming to us.
You may need to visit or consult with your PCP if you are in a high-risk group and receiving the yellow fever vaccine. Please see our ‘What Is the Yellow Fever Vaccine?’ section above to learn more.
How Long Does the Yellow Fever Vaccine Last?
A single dose of the yellow fever vaccine provides lifetime protection. But, some countries still require proof of vaccination within the last 10 years. Consult with a Passport Health team member if you are unsure if you need to be re-vaccinated.
What Is the Best Way to Prevent Yellow Fever?
Vaccination is the best way to prevent yellow fever. Mosquito repellents, netting and proper clothing may be recommended depending on where you are traveling and the yellow fever risk.
How Much Does the Yellow Fever Vaccine Cost?
As the yellow fever vaccine is rarely covered by insurance, the vaccination is usually paid for out-of-pocket. Passport Health prides itself on offering competitive, low pricing for this potentially life-saving vaccine.
Where Can I Get the Yellow Fever Vaccine?
The yellow fever vaccine is only available from designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centers. All Passport Health locations provide the yellow fever vaccine. See our locations page to find a clinic near you.
Passport Health – Yellow Fever Vaccination
“Needed Yellow Fever shot. Going to Cameroon, Africa. Couldn’t get a visa without the shot verification so I needed it like, within the next 2 days. Since there’s a nation-wide shortage of the vaccine, I had to call all over Long Island to find a clinic that had any. Luckily, Passport Health did. They were booked until the following week – Not enough time to get the visa! Luckily, they had a single slot open the same day! I went to the Roslyn office. Very professional, courteous and nice people. The doctor was great and explained all of the vaccinations I should have for such a trip… plus Anti-Malaria pills. Overall, 100% happy with their service!”
“My two children and I came to the Passport Health Clinic for yellow fever and typhoid vaccines for travel to Brazil. The nurse was very knowledgeable and efficient in explaining the necessary vaccines, any risks and reactions to these vaccines.”
“We went to the Reno Passport Health for Yellow Fever vaccines, and ended with much more. We were given a booklet with all sorts of useful information for our trip. The nurse was very pleasant and answered all our questions. She advised us of other possible vaccinations we should get and gave us other hints to make our trip more comfortable. She must give good shots because my husband and I have not had any reaction since receiving the vaccine. We would recommend her to anyone getting ready for an overseas trip where vaccines are recommended.”
“I was able to make it to Passport Health on my lunch break to get a yellow fever vaccination and I was in and out in about 30 minutes. But I didn’t feel rushed either. I had a very informative consultation.”
“I had such a difficult time finding a yellow fever vaccine in NYC, and no one could tell me why. You answered all my questions, scheduled a visit within a few days, and got me the vaccinations and information that I needed for my travel. Thanks to your quick, friendly and knowledgeable staff.”
“This was to be a visit for yellow fever vaccination but we were pleased to get a lot of extra information for the area we will be traveling to!”
“I went in for a Yellow Fever vaccine. Scheduling was easy, and the appointment was very smooth. The entire process was convenient.”
“I had a great visit to the office. I need to get the yellow fever and typhoid fever vaccine. The appointment was easy to schedule, our nurse, Marisa, was extremely knowledgeable. She answered all questions and gave important, pertinent information about our travels.”
“The woman can’t think of her name was great. She gave us helpful info on our trip. We was at least one hour early she took care of us right away. Explained why the yellow fever shot was so hard to come by. She was very professional and helpful.”
“Passport health keeps up on the latest CDC information. They can tell you if a particular disease is active in an area where you are traveling. Currently one of the few places to get Yellow Fever vaccine due to the shortage.”
“My husband and I are traveling to Africa and had to get our vaccinations, including Yellow Fever. We chose Hoboken because the clinic in West Orange could not guarantee that they would have the vaccine when we needed it. The nurse at the Hoboken clinic was professional and extremely nice and very helpful. She went over our travel schedule and all the vaccinations which we should consider having. She is very knowledgeable and we based our decisions on her expert advice!”
“The nurse was excellent. She went over everything I needed to know about my upcoming medical mission i Kenya and let me make decisions regarding what vaccines/medication I wanted to get. She also gave me advice on what to avoid eating to keep/drinking while there. I had to drive almost two hours because they are the only clinic in the area that offers the Yellow Fever vaccine. She was even able to give me a cold travel pack for the Typhoid medication for my drive home. Very professional and I will be recommending Passport Health to my colleges for future trips.”
“Passport Health was able to squeeze 3 of us in to get yellow fever and other vaccines. The nurse was very helpful and explained everything! Even though it was an hour drive for us, it was worth it. I would use them again for sure.”
“Loved my experience. I was in and out with the hard to find Yellow Fever vaccine and also received a typhoid. Lisa was super professional and even presented me with a nice travel itinerary with good to know info for all of the places I usually go. Thank you!”
“My wife and I had an appointment today for our upcoming trip to Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda. The service and information could not have been better. The nurse was an outstanding representative of Passport Health, explaining why we should not get the Yellow Fever shot we thought we needed ( our age makes it risky). I will recommend him and Passport Health to our friends who travel to exotic locations.”
“We came here to get our Yellow fever vaccinations for our trip to Tanzania and were very surprised at all we learned about traveling to Africa. It was like a short course in safe travels. We walked out of there feeling blessed and protected. Thank you so much.”
“I was very impressed by the level of care received at Passport Health. All my questions were answered and I was able to get the yellow fever vaccine I needed for my trip to Zambia. Also having the supplies I needed was very convenient. When I send other teams in the future, I will be recommending Passport Health to them!”
“We were very impressed with the thorough and thoughtful evaluation of our needs. We went in for a Yellow Fever vaccination and found we should also update our typhoid fever vaccine. All aspects of our travel and medical needs were discussed and we left confident that we had all that we needed.”
“I had procrastinated getting my yellow fever vaccination for my upcoming trip to Nigeria. I could not schedule an appt at home in Jacksonville, FL, but I was on business in Minneapolis area and got the appt in with the nurse in the Edina office. She was very through and provided a lot of information.”
“We went in to get a yellow fever vaccinations and it couldn’t have been easier. The practitioner was very professional and knowledgeable. She made my children comfortable and explained things well. The office was clean and pleasant. Highly recommend.”