Vaccine and prophylaxis


Yellow Fever Vaccination

Vaccination schedule

The vaccination comprises a single subcutaneous injection administered from the age of 9 months onwards. The vaccine provides lifelong protection.

When you are vaccinated against Yellow fever, you will be given an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. Travellers should remember that the certificate is valid only 10 days after the vaccine is given and the first dose of vaccine takes 10 days to provide good protection therefore adequate time should be allowed for vaccination before departure.


Yellow fever is endemic in some tropical areas of Africa and Latin America. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends immunisation for all travellers aged 9 months and above, travelling to and from at-risk areas, unless they are contraindicated for vaccination.

Yellow fever is the only disease specified in the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR (2005)) for which countries may require proof of vaccination from travellers as a condition of entry under certain circumstances. A list of countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and countries requiring yellow fever vaccination can be found on WHO website at

Following the amendment to the IHR (2005) on 11 July 2016, currently valid certificates continue to be valid for the life of the traveller indicated. Existing certificates do not need to be changed or modified to show they are valid for life.

Adverse reactions

Side effects of the vaccine are generally mild. Only 5-10% of recipients will experience headache, muscle ache, low-grade fever as well as redness and swelling at the injection site. Immediate hypersensitive reactions such as urticaria or anaphylactic shock are extremely rare.


Travellers with the following health conditions may not be suitable to receive yellow fever vaccination. Before receiving the vaccine, travellers should consult doctor’s advice:

  • Having a febrile illness
  • Persons who are allergic to eggs or to any of the vaccine components
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • Infants under 9 months old
  • Persons aged 60 years and older
  • Persons on immunosuppressive treatment or having radiotherapy
  • Persons with immunosuppressive diseases such as lymphoma, thymoma, leukaemia, Hodgkin's disease, hypogammaglobulinaemia and HIV infection
  • Received other live attenuated viral vaccines within the past 4 weeks

Special notes for travellers aged 60 years and older

Travellers aged 60 years and older, who receive yellow fever vaccine for the first time, are at greater risk of serious side effects following vaccination. These serious side effects include:

Viscerotropic disease

  • Risk is at least 1-2 / 100,000
  • Characterized by severe multi-organ failure
  • Overall case-fatality rate is high

Neurotropic disease (e.g. meningoencephalitis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and Guillain-Barré Syndrome)

  • Risk is at least 1-2 / 100,000
  • Serious but seldom fatal


Last revision date: 13 March 2017