Normally yellow fever vaccination can be given safely, effectively and with minimal discomfort. In most cases the vaccine is highly effective and almost painless. Some individuals cannot have the yellow fever vaccination due to pre-existing medical conditions or allergies. Yellow fever vaccine is considered unsafe in children under 6 months of age. Vaccination is considered safe in children over 9 months of age however Australian customs officials only require proof of vaccination for children over 12 months of age arriving from yellow fever affected countries. Proof of vaccination is through an international certificate of vaccination (yellow book).
During your consultation, the specialist doctor at our clinic will examine your itinerary and make a recommendation about whether yellow fever vaccination is required and appropriate. As part of this assessment we will assess your medical history, any other recent vaccinations, your immune status, recent illness, allergies, your age and your overall health. These factors contribute to the safe and appropriate administration of yellow fever vaccine. Sometimes, yellow fever vaccine interacts with other vaccinations and medications meaning that a proper assessment is required during your visit to our Sydney clinic.
The currently available yellow fever vaccine in Australia is called Stamaril and is distributed by a company called Sanofi Pasteur. The vaccine can only be administered by certain authorised medical clinics which have approval by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Please note that yellow fever vaccination is not available on prescription at paharmacies. Yellow fever vaccine is made in chicken embryos from a specific non-virulent strain of yellow fever virus called 17D-204. Yellow fever vaccine is supplied to our clinic as a sterile freeze-dried powder which our doctor will prepare prior to your immunisation. Vaccine is kept refrigerated and contains a weakened strain of a live yellow fever virus.
Millions of doses of yellow fever vaccine are given around the world each year and the vaccine has proven to be both effective and extremely safe. In terms of side effects about 1:30 individuals have minor side flu-like effects like fever or lethargy. More serious side effects are extremely rare but do occur. The risk of severe side effects is about one case per 100,000 individuals. More severe side effects may take the form of a specific anaphylatic reaction or an illness from the live vaccine in individuals with a deficient immune system. Several other vaccines including rubella, measles and chickenpox are similar to yellow fever vaccine. If you have not had problems with these vaccines then yellow fever can almost certainly be given safely.
Certain specific medical conditions preclude yellow fever vaccination. In cases where yellow fever vaccination is medically unsafe, the doctor at our clinic is able to issue a yellow fever vaccination exemption certificate which will normally provide passage through customs.
Please call our clinic for an appointment on 02 9891 4850.
© Vaccinations For Travel 2014