Medications and Drugs
Brand Names: YF-Vax
Generic Name: yellow fever vaccine (Pronunciation: YEL oh FEE ver)
What is yellow fever vaccine (YF-Vax)?
Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by a virus that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Yellow fever can cause fever and flu-like illness, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), liver failure, respiratory failure, kidney failure, vomiting of blood, and possibly death.
The yellow fever vaccine is used to help prevent this disease in adults and children who are at least 9 months old. This vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of the virus, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.
This vaccine is recommended for people who plan to live in or travel to areas where yellow fever is known to exist, or where an epidemic has recently occurred. The vaccine should also be given to people who will spend any amount of time in rural areas where yellow fever is endemic, or those who are otherwise at high risk of coming into contact with the virus.
You should receive the vaccine at least 10 days prior to your arrival in an area where you may be exposed to the virus.
This vaccine is also recommended for people who work in a research laboratory and may be exposed to yellow fever virus through needle-stick accidents or inhalation of viral droplets in the air.
Like any vaccine, the yellow fever vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.
What are the possible side effects of yellow fever vaccine (YF-Vax)?
You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first vaccine.
Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine (for up to 30 days after the shot). If you ever need to receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous dose caused any side effects.
Becoming infected with yellow fever is much more dangerous to your health than receiving the vaccine to protect against it. Like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects, but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: pale skin, hives; weakness, dizziness, difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects (may occur up to 30 days after you receive the vaccine):
Less serious side effects (may occur for 5 to 10 days after you receive the vaccine) include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.
What is the most important information I should know about yellow fever vaccine (YF-Vax)?
Yellow fever vaccine is for use in adults and children who are at least 9 months old. The vaccine is given every 10 years to people who are at risk of exposure to yellow fever. Your individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
You can still receive a vaccine if you have a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine.
You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.
Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. When you receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shots caused any side effects.
Becoming infected with yellow fever is much more dangerous to your health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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