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Published On: Fri, May 17th, 2013

Yellow fever ‘booster’ shot not necessary: WHO

A single dose of yellow fever vaccination is sufficient to confer life-long immunity against yellow fever disease, according to   the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) Friday.

Image/CDC

Image/CDC

The experts say in an article in WHO’s Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) , the yellow fever ‘booster’ vaccination given ten years after the initial vaccination is not necessary.

“The conventional guidance has been that the yellow fever vaccination has had to be boosted after ten years,” says Dr Helen Rees, chair of SAGE. “Looking at really very good evidence, it was quite clear to SAGE that in fact a single dose of yellow fever vaccine is effective. This is extremely important for countries where yellow fever is endemic, because it will allow them to reconsider their vaccine scheduling. It is also important for travelers.”

Some key facts about yellow fever include:

  • Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The “yellow” in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients.
  • Up to 50% of severely affected persons without treatment will die from yellow fever.
  • There are an estimated 200 000 cases of yellow fever, causing 30 000 deaths, worldwide each year.
  • The virus is endemic in tropical areas of Africa and Latin America, with a combined population of over 900 million people.
  • The number of yellow fever cases has increased over the past two decades due to declining population immunity to infection, deforestation, urbanization, population movements and climate change.
  • There is no specific treatment for yellow fever. Treatment is symptomatic, aimed at reducing the symptoms for the comfort of the patient.
  • Vaccination is the most important preventive measure against yellow fever. The vaccine is safe, affordable and highly effective, and a single dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and life-long protection against yellow fever disease and a booster dose of yellow fever vaccine is not needed. The vaccine provides effective immunity within 30 days for 99% of persons vaccinated.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. » Yellow fever vaccine shortage leaves travellers in the lurch – Daily Mail says:

    […] the Airport Authority of India at the IGI Airport has been running short of vaccine for the …Yellow fever 'booster' shot not necessary: WHOThe Global DispatchYellow fever vaccination booster not needed – WHOGhana Business NewsSingle […]

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