Yellow Fever Vaccinations

mosquito.jpgThe Harbour Medical Practice is a certified Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre

This service is available to all (ie registered patients and other members of the public)

If you plan to travel to a country where Yellow Fever occurs, it is strongly advisable that you obtain a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate.

Please telephone the surgery and ask to discuss this with one of the Practice Nurses.

What is Yellow Fever?

Yellow fever is a serious viral illness that is transmitted by a mosquito (Aedes aegypti mosquito). The illness mainly occurs in sub-Saharan Africa, South America and in parts of the Caribbean. There have not been any recent cases reported in North America, Europe or Asia.

Yellow fever can be fatal - about 5% death rate.   

Typical symptoms of yellow fever include:

  • headache,
  • fever
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • jaundice, and
  • bleeding

Types of Yellow Fever

There are two types of yellow fever: Jungle and Urban Yellow Fever.

Jungle yellow fever

Jungle yellow fever is spread by jungle mosquitoes and mainly affects non-human hosts, such as monkeys. Humans who spend time in a jungle habitat where the mosquito and infected monkeys live can get jungle yellow fever

Urban yellow fever

Humans can get urban yellow fever if they are bitten by an Aedes aegypti mosquito that has previously bitten a monkey or human who has the yellow fever infection. The risk of an urban yellow fever outbreak occurring is highest in areas that are close to jungles where the mosquitoes and infected monkeys live.

Treating yellow fever 

There is no specific treatment for yellow fever.

The condition is managed by controlling the symptoms eg: fever, headaches and muscle pains can be treated with Paracetamol or anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen.

Remember that it is always safer to check with your GP or Pharmacist if you are uncertain about medications

Preventing yellow fever 


Immunisation is the best way of preventing yellow fever

A single dose of the yellow fever vaccine gives protection for at least 10 years.

The vaccination should be given at least ten days before travel to an “at risk” country. This is to allow the body enough time to produce enough immunity against Yellow Fever.

An International Certificate of Vaccination is valid only from 10 days after the vaccination is given. 

Some side effects of the vaccination include:

  • pain and swelling at the site of the injection, high temperature (fever) of 38°C (100.4°F), or above,
  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • diarrhoea, and
  • vomiting.

These side effects are often mild and will disappear after about a week. Rarer side effects of the yellow fever vaccination can include:

  • abdominal pain, and
  • arthralgia (joint pain).

People who should not have the yellow fever vaccination are :

  • Children under six months of age
  • Children between six and nine months of age should only be immunised if the risk of yellow fever during travel is unavoidable.
  • Pregnant women (unless the risk of yellow fever is unavoidable).
  • Women who are breastfeeding (unless the risk of yellow fever is unavoidable).
  • People whose immune systems are lowered (immunosuppressed), such as those with HIV and people receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • People who are allergic to eggs (the vaccine contains small amounts of egg).

International Certificate of Vaccination

Under the Health Regulations set out by the World Health Organization (WHO), anyone travelling to a country or area where the Aedes aegypti mosquito is found must have an International Certificate of Vaccination.

If you have been travelling in an ‘at risk’ area during the past month, it is recommended that you carry a yellow fever certificate with you to avoid potential problems with immigration. If you are travelling from an area where there is a risk of yellow fever without a valid yellow fever certificate, immigration officials are legally entitled to quarantine travellers for a period of at least seven days at the point of arrival into a country.

If you lose your yellow fever vaccination certificate, you may be able to get another one re-issued as long as you have details of the vaccination batch number and the date that you had the vaccination.

Designated vaccination centres

The yellow fever vaccination can only be given at certain designated and registered centres like The Harbour Medical Practice, Eastbourne which has been certified by  National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNac)

Compiled with information from NHS Choices

Visit for more information about Yellow Fever



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