Yellow Fever Vaccine

Yellow Fever Vaccination in Canada

What is Yellow Fever?

Yellow fever is a viral disease caused by the yellow fever virus and primarily transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The disease is prevalent in tropical regions, particularly in Africa and South America. Yellow fever is named after the yellowing of the skin, also known as jaundice, and fever, another prevalent symptom of this infection.

How to Prevent Yellow Fever?

The best way to prevent yellow fever is to get vaccinated. The yellow fever vaccine is recommended for all individuals over nine months of age who are traveling to or living in areas where yellow fever is endemic. Aside from vaccination, individuals can reduce their risk of contracting yellow fever by wearing long-sleeved clothing and using insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites. Additional precautions include choosing lodgings with air conditioning, screens on windows and doors, or sleeping under a mosquito net if unavailable. There are many strategies to avoid yellow fever both with and without the yellow fever vaccine – speak with a Rockdoc Travel Medicine Professional for personalized and up-to-date recommendations to keep you safe.

Is Yellow Fever Vaccine Necessary?

Yellow fever is a serious disease that can be fatal but entirely preventable through vaccination. In fact, you may be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination, called the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP or “yellow card”) for entry to some countries.

To find out if your destination(s) require the Yellow Fever vaccine, consult a Rockdoc Travel Medicine Professional here.

Can I be exempt from the Yellow Fever Vaccine?

For certain individuals, the yellow fever vaccine can have serious side effects. If travelers have conditions that leave them immunocompromised (e.g., certain medications, cancers, autoimmune diseases, age over 70, etc.), those travelers will not require vaccination. Instead, Rockdoc will provide Exception Certificates if traveling to a country where it is mandated. Infants under nine months of age are also exempt and provided with Exception Certificates.

To find out if you are exempt from the Yellow Fever vaccine, consult a Rockdoc Travel Medicine Professional here.

What are the Side Effects of the Yellow Fever Vaccine?

The majority of people who receive the yellow fever vaccine experience mild side effects, if any. Common side effects include:

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site: This is the most common side effect and usually resolves within a few days.
  • Mild headache, muscle pain, or low-grade fever: These flu-like symptoms can occur within the first few days after vaccination and typically last 1 to 2 days.

In rare cases, more serious side effects can occur, such as:

  • Allergic reactions: These can range from mild to severe and may include rash, itching, or difficulty breathing. Immediate medical attention is required for allergic reactions.
  • Yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD): This is a rare but serious adverse effect that can mimic yellow fever infection.
  • Yellow fever vaccine-associated neurologic disease (YEL-AND): This includes conditions such as meningoencephalitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis.

Does the Yellow Fever Card Expire?

As of July 2016, the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) for yellow fever is valid for the lifetime of the vaccinated person. 

The vaccine is typically given as a single dose and is highly effective, providing lifelong immunity in most cases, though after 10 years, a booster dose may be recommended.

What are Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres?

Where Yellow Fever vaccinations are required, these can only be administered by authorized Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres that follow the regulations set forth by the International Health Regulations and the guidelines of the Public Health Agency of Canada. Few pharmacies are yellow fever certified, and not all travel clinics maintain a stock of travel-related vaccinations (ie: must be fulfilled by a pharmacy, then brought to the clinic to be administered).

Yellow Fever Vaccinations Near Me

Rockdoc provides referrals and easy online appointment booking for nearby pharmacies who have been designated as Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres for your convenience.

We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the provided information, however, it is not feasible for us to update daily. Please book a virtual consultation with one of our Travel Medicine Professionals for current, personalized advice and answers to any questions you may have.

Is Yellow Fever Serious Disease?

Symptoms of Yellow Fever include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea and vomiting


In severe cases, patients may develop:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ failure
  • Shock
  • If very severe, death

Yellow fever symptoms can range from mild to severe, with most individuals infected with the yellow fever virus not getting sick or only experiencing mild, flu-like symptoms.

However, symptoms can develop into serious illness and potentially become life-threatening. There is no cure or treatment for yellow fever, highlighting the importance of the yellow fever vaccine.

What are the Treatment Options for Yellow Fever?

Treatment for yellow fever primarily focuses on symptom relief and supportive care, as there’s no cure for the virus itself. Supportive care in a hospital setting may include fluids to prevent dehydration, medications to help relieve fever and pain, and close monitoring of vital signs and organ functions.

Available travel vaccinations and medications

We offer the following travel vaccinations and medications:

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