Yellow fever vaccine
Generic Name: yellow fever vaccine (YEL-oh FEE-ver VAX-een)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Nov 17, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Suspension
Therapeutic Class: Vaccine
Uses for yellow fever vaccine
Yellow fever vaccine is used to prevent infection by the yellow fever virus. This vaccine works by causing your body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the virus.
Vaccination against yellow fever is recommended for all persons 9 months of age and older who are traveling to or living in areas of Africa, South America, or other countries where there is yellow fever infection and for people who are traveling to countries that require yellow fever immunization (certificate of vaccination). It is also needed by other people who might come into contact with the yellow fever virus.
Pregnant women should be vaccinated only if they must travel to areas where there is an epidemic of yellow fever and they cannot be protected from mosquito bites.
The certificate of vaccination for yellow fever is valid for 10 years beginning 10 days after the first vaccination, or on the date of the second vaccination if within 10 years of the first injection.
Yellow fever vaccine may not protect all persons given the vaccine.
This vaccine is given only at authorized Yellow Fever Vaccination Centers. The location of these centers can be obtained from your state, province, and local health departments.
Before using yellow fever vaccine
In deciding to use a vaccine, the risks of taking the vaccine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this vaccine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to yellow fever vaccine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Yellow fever vaccine is recommended for children 9 months of age or older if they are traveling to, or living in, areas where there is yellow fever infection, or if they are traveling to areas that require yellow fever immunization (certificate of vaccination). However, the vaccine is not recommended for infants younger than 9 months of age, because of an increased risk of encephalitis.
Use of this vaccine should be limited to elderly patients older than 65 years of age who are traveling to, or living in, areas where there is yellow fever infection.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this vaccine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Receiving this vaccine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to use this vaccine or change some of the other medicines you take.
Receiving this vaccine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Antithymocyte Globulin Rabbit
- Axicabtagene Ciloleucel
- Brexucabtagene Autoleucel
- Certolizumab Pegol
- Cholera Vaccine
- Cytarabine Liposome
- Daunorubicin Citrate Liposome
- Daunorubicin Liposome
- Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin
- Immune Globulin
- Interferon Alfa
- Irinotecan Liposome
- Mycophenolic Acid
- Paclitaxel Protein-Bound
Receiving this vaccine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Cytomegalovirus Immune Globulin, Human
- Hepatitis B Immune Globulin
- Rabies Immune Globulin
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus Immune Globulin, Human
- Tetanus Immune Globulin
- Vaccinia Immune Globulin, Human
- Varicella-Zoster Immune Globulin
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this vaccine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Allergy to eggs, egg products, chicken proteins, or gelatin, history of or
- Serious illness with fever or
- Weak immune system (e.g., HIV or AIDS, cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, or thymic disease)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Asymptomatic HIV infection—Should be vaccinated and be monitored for possible side effects.
Proper use of yellow fever vaccine
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this vaccine. This vaccine is given as a shot under your skin.
A booster dose of the vaccine is recommended every 10 years for patients who are at continuous risk of exposure to the yellow fever virus, and is required by his or her doctor.
Precautions while using yellow fever vaccine
It is very important that you or your child return to your doctor at the right time for the second dose (as directed by your doctor). Be sure to tell your doctor about any side effects that occur after you receive this vaccine.
This vaccine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash, itching, swelling of the tongue and throat, or trouble breathing after you receive the vaccine.
Side effects from this vaccine could occur up to 30 days after you receive the shot. Be sure to tell your doctor about any serious side effects that occur during that time.
Yellow fever vaccine may cause a serious side effect called neurotropic disease or post-vaccinal encephalitis. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have confusion, irritability, headache, seizures, stiff neck, or vomiting.
This vaccine may cause serious allergic reactions affecting multiple body organs (e.g., liver or kidney). Check with your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms: fever, dark urine, headache, rash, stomach pain, unusual tiredness, or yellow eyes or skin.
Since the vaccine may not protect everyone completely, it is very important that you use precautions to reduce your chance of mosquito bites. These include using insect repellents and mosquito nets, wearing protective clothing, and staying indoors during twilight and after dark.
The stopper of the vial contains dry natural rubber (a derivative of latex), which may cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to latex. Tell your doctor if you have a latex allergy before you start receiving this vaccine.
Tell your doctor if you are receiving a treatment or using a medicine that causes a weak immune system. This may include radiation therapy, steroid medicines, or cancer medicines.
Yellow fever vaccine side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- convulsions (seizures)
- difficulty with breathing or swallowing
- fast heartbeat
- feeling of burning, crawling, or tingling of the skin
- nervousness or irritability
- reddening of the skin
- severe headache
- skin rash or itching
- stiff neck
- throbbing in the ears
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Difficulty with moving
- joint pain
- low fever
- mild headache
- muscle aching or cramping
- muscle pains or stiffness
- pain at the injection site
- swollen joints
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about yellow fever vaccine
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 4 Reviews
- Drug class: viral vaccines
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