World-wide Shortage of Yellow Fever Vaccine

Written by Ronald St. John

February 6, 2014

World-wide Shortage of Yellow Fever Vaccine

One of the major producers of yellow fever vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur, has announced that due to a production problem, there will be a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine. In general, priority for vaccination will be given to travellers who are going to countries with active outbreaks of yellow fever or where this disease is common. If travellers require a yellow fever vaccination certificate in order to enter a specific country, the usual vaccine provider will provide a medical waiver free of charge for those places where there is a low risk of yellow fever. Travelers should remember that they should receive the vaccine at least 11 days before traveling, and it will be prudent to receive it as soon as the vaccine becomes available. The WHO indicates that booster vaccinations are no longer required, since the vaccine provides life-long protection. The mosquito-borne virus is prevalent in parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Yellow fever infects around 200,000 people worldwide each year. Victims can start to recover after a few days of flu-like symptoms, but around one in four relapses with potentially fatal consequences. Since many travelers may be planning on attending the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer, Brazil now recommends vaccination for travellers to the following areas where there is a risk of yellow fever [YF] transmission:

  • Total territory of federal states of Acre, Amapa, Amazonas, Goias, Maranhao, MatoGrosso, MatoGrosso do Sul, Para, Rondonia, Roraima, Tocantins, Minas Gerais, and Distrito Federal
  • Specific areas of the states of Piaui, Bahia, Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul.

Brazil also considers that there is no risk of yellow fever transmission in the coastal areas of the states of Piaui, Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe, Bahia, Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul.

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