Why Should You Have the Yellow Fever Vaccine Before Travelling?

Sick person

There is a highly effective vaccine that can protect you from developing yellow fever if you travel to a region where the disease is common. It’s administered into your upper arm. Even if you’ve received the vaccine, it’s critical to avoid mosquito bites since mosquitoes can spread other dangerous diseases. It’s important to also learn how to prevent yourself from getting yellow fever as you travel across the globe. Keep reading to learn more about the yellow fever vaccine.

Symptoms to look out for

Symptoms of yellow fever include a headache, fever, jaundice, nausea, muscle pain, fatigue and vomiting.

Who should get vaccinated against yellow fever?

The vaccine is recommended for persons above the age of nine who plan to travel to the following countries:

– A yellow fever-affected region that includes Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Central America, and Trinidad in the Caribbean.
– A country that needs you to provide a certificate verifying your yellow fever vaccination.

You should get immunised at least 10 days ahead of your travel to give the vaccine enough time to work.

You or your child must wait at least 4 weeks after receiving the MMR vaccine before obtaining the yellow fever vaccination.

If a four-week gap cannot be kept, you should still receive the yellow fever vaccine, but an extra MMR dosage should be sought afterwards. For people who are still at risk, re-vaccination can be offered on an individual basis.

Get yellow fever vaccine before travelling

Yellow fever vaccination for people over 60 years old

If you’re 60 years or older, you can have the yellow fever vaccine, but only if you’re fit and healthy, know the risks of vaccination, and there’s a real risk of the yellow fever disease at your destination (instead of requiring the vaccination just for certificate reasons). Your pharmacist or doctor will discuss the risk of you getting sick at your destination as well as the vaccine’s potential negative effects to assist you in making an informed decision regarding vaccination.

How long does the vaccine last?

The vaccine protects most people against yellow fever for as long as they live.

A 2nd dose of the vaccine is recommended for a small percentage of people travelling to areas where yellow fever disease is a concern. This includes those who have already been vaccinated but received it:

– While pregnant
– When they were younger than two years old
– Before undergoing a bone marrow transplant
– When living with HIV/AIDS
– If you have a weaker immune system

Please contact us if you’re uncertain whether you should get another dose prior to travelling.

Get yellow fever vaccine before travelling

Who is ineligible for the vaccine?

Some people are unable to receive the vaccine, despite the fact that it is recommended.

Those who are unable to obtain the vaccine include:

– Infants under six months of age.
– Those who have a weakened immune system, like people with leukaemia or lymphoma.
– People whose immune systems have been impaired as a result of steroid and chemotherapy treatment.
– Individuals who have allergies to any of the vaccine’s constituents, including eggs.
– People who had a bad reaction to a preceding yellow fever vaccine dosage.
– People who have had their thymus gland cut or have thymus gland disease.
– Those travelling to places where the yellow fever vaccine is not generally advised for those over the age of 60.
– People with close relatives who have had significant side effects from the vaccine, including brain or other organ damage.

Which countries need the yellow fever vaccine?

Travellers from countries where yellow fever is present to nations where transmission may occur are frequently required to show proof of vaccination (and once in a while for travellers passing through such countries).


What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Those who have not been vaccinated against yellow fever seem to be more likely to experience negative effects than those who have.

Up to one out of every three people suffers the following symptoms after vaccination:

– A headache
– Muscle pain
– A rise in their temperature
– Discomfort at the site of injection

These side effects usually go away within 2 weeks.

More significant side effects, including an allergic reaction to one of the vaccine’s ingredients, may occur in rare situations.

Medical Exemption Certificates

If there is a potential that you may have serious complications from the vaccination, your healthcare provider may refuse to vaccinate you. If the danger of serious vaccine side effects is assessed to be higher than the risk of disease, the same scenario may apply. In some cases, if the risk of sickness is deemed low, a medical exemption certificate can be issued. This should only be executed with your permission.

Our Travel Clinic

We offer a variety of travel vaccines to suit your needs wherever you are going. It’s important that you visit us before your departure. You can book your appointment with S&S Chemists today using the booking calendar below to get vaccinated.

Get Vaccinated


This blog post was written on behalf of S&S Chemists by Pharmacy Mentor.