Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccine for Travel

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.

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. Otherwise, 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.

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

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). 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.

Available travel vaccinations and medications

We offer the following travel vaccinations and medications:

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