Yellow Fever Information

Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by a virus. The disease is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. It is not a contagious disease, so the virus cannot be spread directly from person to person. The symptoms of yellow fever begin with fever, headache, chills, and nausea/vomiting. It can progress to jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), liver, kidney, and respiratory (breathing) failure, and death.

Yellow fever occurs mainly in certain parts of Africa and tropical South America.

Yellow Fever Vaccine Information

Yellow fever vaccine is given only at approved vaccination centers that can provide the traveler with a valid International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP). This certificate is valid for 10 years from the date of vaccination and it is required to enter certain countries. The vaccine must be administered at least 10 days prior to travel.

Yellow fever vaccine is given as an injection into the arm underneath the skin, which is known as a subcutaneous (SC) injection.

Who Should Receive the Yellow fever Vaccine?

  • People 9 months of age and older traveling to countries that require proof of yellow fever vaccination
  • People 9 months of age and older traveling to parts of South America and Africa where the risk of yellow fever is known to exist

Yellow Fever Vaccine Schedule

  • A single dose
  • A booster dose every 10 years for people who remain at risk
  • Children ages 1-3 follow the same schedule, but receive smaller doses

Yellow Fever vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

Side Effects

Mild-to-Moderate Problems

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Fever, headache, and muscle aches
  • Mild to moderate fever (more common with the combination vaccine)

Severe Problems (Rare)

  • Severe nervous system reactions
  • Life-threatening severe illness with major organ system failure
  • Serious allergic reactions, with symptoms including:
    • -Difficulty breathing
    • -Wheezing
    • -Hives
    • -Paleness
    • -Fast heartbeat
    • -Dizziness

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help ease pain and reduce fever.

It is extremely rare for this vaccine to cause serious harm or death. If the person getting the vaccine has a serious reaction, call the doctor or seek immediate medical attention.

Who Should Not Receive the Yellow Fever Vaccination

  • People with moderate or severe illness (for example, a severe cold, flu or infection of the sinuses or lungs) should not receive the vaccine until symptoms of the illness improve.
  • People with an allergy or hypersensitivity to eggs, chicken, and gelatin.
  • Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant and nursing mothers.
  • People should not get this vaccine if they have a weakened immune system for any reason, including:
    • -HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system
    • -Treatment with steroids (such as prednisone) for two weeks or longer
    • -Cancer or cancer treatment
  • Persons with history of thymus disease, including myasthenia gravis, thymoma, or prior removal of thymus gland
  • Those who previously had a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction to the vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine should not be vaccinated.

Additional Information

Tell your doctor or a healthcare provider if the person getting the vaccine has any severe allergies.

Call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at 800-232-4636 or visit the CDC website, at, for more vaccine information.

This publication should be used for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Be sure to contact your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider for more information about human papillomavirus. Although it is intended to be accurate, neither Walgreen Co., its subsidiaries or affiliates, nor any other party assumes liability for loss or damage due to reliance on this publication.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Health Information for International Travel 2007. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Services, 2007.

Vaccine Information Statement: yellow fever vaccine vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). November 9, 2004. Accessed April 2008.

Schedule a vaccination

Walgreens Clinic Scheduler