There’s a very effective vaccine that can stop you getting yellow fever if you’re travelling to an area where the infection is found.
It’s given as an injection into your upper arm.
But even if you have been vaccinated, it’s important to prevent insect bites as mosquitoes can also spread other serious illnesses.
Who should have the yellow fever vaccine
The yellow fever vaccine is recommended for people from 9 months of age who are travelling to:
an area where yellow fever is found, including parts of sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Central America and Trinidad in the Caribbean a country that requires you to have a certificate proving you have been vaccinated against yellow fever.
You should be vaccinated at least 10 days before you travel to allow enough time for the vaccine to work.
If you or your child has had the MMR vaccine, you or they need to wait at least 4 weeks before having the yellow fever vaccine.
If it is not possible to leave a 4-week gap, the yellow fever vaccine should be given but an additional dose of MMR should be considered at a later date. Re-vaccination with the yellow fever vaccine can also be considered on an individual basis for those at on-going risk.
Yellow fever vaccination certificate
Some countries require a certificate showing you have been vaccinated before you’re allowed entry.
This is known as an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP).
All vaccination certificates are now valid for life, including older ones with an expiry date on them. You’ll be given a certificate when you’re vaccinated at a yellow fever vaccination centre.
Check the country information on the TravelHealthPro website or with a yellow fever vaccination centre to see if you need a certificate for the area you’re visiting.
A certificate is not needed for entry into the UK.
Keep your certificate safe and make a copy for your records.
If you lose your certificate, you may be able to get another one reissued if you have a copy showing full details of the vaccination batch number and the date you had the vaccination.
How long the yellow fever vaccine lasts
The yellow fever vaccine provides lifelong protection for most people.
A further dose of vaccine is recommended for a small number of travellers who are visiting yellow fever risk areas, including those who were previously vaccinated when they were:
• under 2 years old
• living with HIV
• had a weakened immune system before having a bone marrow transplant
Rarely, a further dose of vaccine may also be advised if there’s a concern about the traveller’s risk of yellow fever, for example, if they’re working or living for some time in a high-risk area.