Yellow Fever is an important vaccination, which prevents insect bites from mosquitoes to spread into other serious illnesses. The Yellow Fever Vaccine is extremely important for UK citizens when travelling to certain parts of the world.
Generally speaking the Yellow Fever Vaccination is recommended for people from around nine months old.
It’s designed for people who are travelling to regions where yellow fever is most common. This tends to be sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, the Caribbean and South America. The vaccine is also required by certain countries, these nations require you to have a certificate proving you’ve been vaccinated against yellow fever. This certificate is known as an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (IVCP).
You should have the Yellow Fever Vaccination at least 10 days before your journey begins.
Learn More about Yellow Fever
In medical terms, Yellow Fever is classed as a ‘viral disease’, which is usually short in duration. The most common symptoms include fever, nausea, muscle pains, headaches, loss of appetite and chills. Generally, symptoms improve within a week or so, however the fever can return in some cases.
If Yellow Fever re-occurs it can cause abdominal pain and liver damage. If liver damage occurs this causes the skin to go Yellow and the risk of kidney problems and bleeding is greatly increased.
Yellow Fever affects around 130,000 people a year. This results in about 45,000 deaths, so it’s extremely important you get a vaccine before leaving the United Kingdom. Of these infections around 90% occur in Africa.
Yellow Fever is spread by a bite of an infected female mosquito. In the ‘early stages’ of the disease, it can be hard for healthcare professionals to tell it apart from other conditions. The only way to currently confirm a case of yellow fever is through a blood test.
The disease of Yellow Fever is actually pretty old, it originally occurred around the 17th century where it spread from Africa to South America by the slave trade.
The Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793 happened in Philadelphia, which was the capital city of the United States at the time. The problem was so bad it caused thousands of people to die, which at the time worked out to around 9% of the countries population!
By the 18th and 19th centuries it had spread to North and South America and Europe. During this period it was described as ‘one of the most dangerous diseases’. It wasn’t until 1848 that Josiah C. Nott, highlighted that yellow fever was spread by insects, such as moths and mosquitoes.
The first successful human vaccination occurred in 1927. Interestingly Yellow Fever only affects humans and other primates such as Monkeys, Lemurs and Gorillas.
What’s the Yellow Fever Vaccination Price in the UK?
Typically, you will find that the Yellow Fever vaccination is not available for free on the NHS as standard. Generally, you will have to pay for a vaccination. You can either pay your local NHS trust or a private hospital.
The fee for the yellow fever vaccine in the UK is around £60 to £80 at the time of publication.
How long does the Yellow Fever Vaccine Last?
For most people, the Yellow Fever Vaccination will protect them for life, however some people are recommended to get ‘booster’ jabs around every 10 years. This applies to people who are continually at risk of developing the disease.
Typically booster vaccines are only recommended when:
• Somebody is travelling to a region where Yellow Fever is found
• The last time you were vaccinated was more than 10 years ago
• You were last vaccinated under two years of age, had a weakened immune system or were pregnant.
For more information regarding the Yellow Fever Vaccine and how it could affect you, please seek professional medical advice from your Doctor.
Side Effects of The Yellow Fever Vaccination
As with most vaccines, the Yellow Fever Vaccination can cause some side effects to occur. However, this are generally ‘rare’. The risk of not being vaccinated against yellow fever usually ‘outweighs’ the risk of having the side effects.
Typically one in three people may get:
• A Fever
• A Headache
• Muscle Pain
• Soreness around the Injection Site
As you’re meant to have the vaccination at least 10 days before travelling, most symptoms usually pass within two weeks.
If you have any serious problems, such as an allergic reaction or symptoms, which might affect your organs or the brain. Always seek professional medical assistance, either by calling NHS 111 or 999 in a medical emergency.
Generally less than 10 in every million doses of the Yellow Fever vaccination may present serious symptoms, however it’s extremely rare.
Who Can’t Have the Yellow Fever Vaccination?
You need to remember that certain people can’t have the vaccine, these typically include:
• Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women
• People over the age of 60
• Babies under nine months old
• People with Weak immune systems
• People who are allergic to any ingredients of the vaccine
For more information on whether any of this information applies to you, it’s recommended to contact your Doctor’s surgery or your local yellow vaccination centre.
For whatever you can’t have the vaccine, you will most likely be issued with an ‘exemption letter’. This might be accepted by the country you’re travelling too, however you should always contact your travel agent or the foreign embassy of the country to confirm whether this documentation is valid.