Yellow fever

Yellow fever can cause headaches, a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or over, bleeding, and it can be fatal. It is passed to humans through bites of infected mosquitoes.

High risk areas: parts of sub-Saharan Africa and South America.

Some countries require you to have an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) before they will let you into the country. The certificate proves that you have been vaccinated against yellow fever.

The yellow fever vaccination is recommended for anyone who is:

  • travelling to, or living in, an area or country where yellow fever is found, or
  • travelling to a country that requires an ICVP for entry.

The vaccine

Anyone who is nine months of age, or over, can be given a single dose of the vaccine that will provide protection against yellow fever for life.

You will need to have the yellow fever vaccine a minimum of 10 days before you are due to travel. This is because your ICVP is only valid 10 days after your vaccination and then remains valid for 10 years.

Children who are 6-9 months of age should only be vaccinated against yellow fever if the risk of developing the condition during travel is unavoidable. The yellow fever vaccine is not suitable for children who are under six months of age.

The yellow fever vaccination is only available from designated centres like

If you cannot be vaccinated against yellow fever for medical reasons (or for infants who are under nine months of age), your GP may be able to issue you with a medical waiver letter. This will explain why you are unable to have the vaccine.