Yellow Fever vaccine immunity to last lifelong

A single dose of Yellow Fever Vaccination provides life- long immunity and no longer requires a 10 year booster.

This is the update according to leading international Immunisation professionals, Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE).

Who is SAGE? This group advises the World Health Organisations on global strategies and policies ranging from immunisations to technology and research to development.

The head of SAGE, Dr Helen Rees, said

“Looking at very good evidence, it was quite clear to SAGE that a single dose of yellow fever vaccine is effective.”

 600 million doses have been administered since the 1930s when the yellow fever immunisations began. Out of this only 12 documented cases of ‘vaccine failure’- instances where a vaccinated person became infected after exposure. It was established that these ‘vaccine failures’ occurred within 5 years after vaccination which establishes that immunity does not wane over time. Reduced immunity in the recipients at the time of vaccination or break in the cold chain which could render the vaccine ineffective could be accounted to these vaccine failures.

Yellow Fever is transmitted by female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Symptoms include severe headache, back pain, nausea and vomiting, fever and weakness. Illness can vary from mild fever to a severe liver and renal disease with bleeding for one of out of ten people infected.

Dr Eddy Bajrovic from the Medical Director of Travelvax Australia said, “It should be remembered that yellow fever can be a severe disease. There is no cure for yellow fever and we know that 60% of those that develop the toxic phase will die.”

Many non- infected countries like Australia have the same species of mosquitoes that can transmit Yellow fever. The vaccine is the only one mandatory for travel to and from infected regions.

Those who are planning to travel to South America and Africa, consult your travel doctor if needing a yellow fever vaccination. A proof of vaccination is required from returning travellers upon arrival.

For further information, visit the government website