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Yellow Fever

Vaccines to Prevent Yellow Fever

Routine yellow fever vaccination is not recommended in the United States, but yellow fever vaccine is recommended for certain groups of people.

Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by the yellow fever virus. It is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito and cannot be spread directly from person-to-person. It is found in certain parts of Africa and South America. Yellow fever vaccine can prevent yellow fever.

Yellow fever can cause:

  • Fever and flu-like illness
  • Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)
  • Liver, kidney, respiratory, and other organ system failure
  • Vomiting blood
  • Death

People with yellow fever disease usually have to be hospitalized.

Yellow fever vaccine is given only at approved vaccination centers. After receiving the vaccine, you should receive an International Certificate of Vaccination (yellow card) that has been validated by the vaccination center. The certificate becomes valid 10 days after vaccination and lasts for ten years. You will need this card as proof of vaccination to enter certain countries.

Yellow Fever Vaccine is Recommended for:

  • Persons nine months or older traveling to or living in a country that requires yellow fever vaccination for certain travelers. Check with your health care provider.
  • Persons nine months or older traveling to a country that does not require yellow fever vaccination, but is located in an area where the risk of yellow fever is known to exist. Check with your health care provider.
  • Information about known or probable infected areas is available from the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, and CDC.
  • If you continue to live or travel in yellow fever-endemic areas, you should receive a booster dose of yellow fever vaccine after 10 years. Yellow fever vaccine may be given at the same time as most other vaccines.

Consult your health department or visit CDC’s travel information website to learn the travel requirements for different countries or to find the nearest approved vaccination center. Please make sure you discuss your travel itinerary with your doctor or nurse before you receive your yellow fever vaccination.

Learn more about yellow fever by reading the Yellow Fever Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) or visiting the CDC's Yellow Fever Page.


Yellow Fever can cause:

  •  Fever and flu-like illness
  •  Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)
  •  Liver, kidney, respiratory and other organ system failure
  •  Vomiting blood
  •  Death

Last reviewed: March 2011