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Yellow Fever Vaccination for South America or Africa
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Some countries or areas may require proof of vaccination - alternately, a certificate from a physician stating YFV is contraindicated for a patient - to enter YF areas, or in cases where travelers have visited Yellow Fever areas, generally in Africa or South America. "Travelers who arrive in a country with a yellow fever vaccination entry requirement without proof of yellow fever vaccination may be quarantined for up to 6 days, refused entry, or vaccinated on site." ((USCDC)


The US Center's for Disease Control and Prevention (Nov 2015):

Quote:
Yellow fever vaccine is a live-virus vaccine which has been used for several decades. A single dose protects against disease for 10 years or more. If a person is at continued risk of infection, a booster dose is recommended every 10 years. See this page for caveats, etc.

As well, note:

Vaccine Administration

For all eligible people, a single injection of reconstituted vaccine should be administered subcutaneously. Revaccination has been required by certain countries at 10-year intervals to comply with International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Note: In February 2015, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved a new recommendation that a single dose of yellow fever vaccine provides long-lasting protection and is adequate for most travelers. The updated recommendations also identify specific groups of travelers who should receive additional doses and others for whom additional doses may be considered. The official ACIP recommendations were published on June 19, 2015 (see http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6423a5.htm). All current ACIP yellow fever vaccine recommendations can be found on the ACIP website at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/acip-recs/index.html.

Although ACIP no longer recommends booster doses of yellow fever vaccine for most travelers, clinicians and travelers should review the entry requirements for destination countries because changes to the International Health Regulations (IHR) have not yet been fully implemented. In 2014, the World Health Organization adopted the recommendation to remove the 10-year booster dose requirement from the IHR as of June 2016. Once this change is instituted, a completed International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis will be valid for the lifetime of the vaccinee. Some countries have already adopted this change, which is noted under the yellow fever vaccine requirements on each country’s destination page. However, it is uncertain when and if all countries with yellow fever vaccination requirements will adopt this change. (Updated August 26, 2015)
See the CDC Traveler Health page here for much more detailed and important information.

The proof of vaccine must generally be from an authorized vaccination center, and is generally in the form of a "international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis" standard proof of vaccination.


ICVP Form

Also see the Australia Department of Health page here

Also see the Canada Government page here

Also see the UK NHS "fitfortravel" page here

Updated 6 November 2015
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Old Jan 8, 11, 4:29 pm   #1
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Yellow Fever Vaccination - Requirements for Africa

been getting conflicting opinions and was hoping to hear from someone who's done this recently. We're flying SAA from DC to Jo'burg and the plane stops to refuel in Dakar, Senegal. They don't open the doors and they spray the plane before it takes off again. So do we need a yellow fever shot or not? There are apparently some serious side effects so our dr in DC is reluctant to give it unless it is absolutely required. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old Jan 8, 11, 5:04 pm   #2
  
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I do not think you need YF vaccine.
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Old Jan 9, 11, 1:07 am   #3
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martha skol View Post
been getting conflicting opinions and was hoping to hear from someone who's done this recently. We're flying SAA from DC to Jo'burg and the plane stops to refuel in Dakar, Senegal. They don't open the doors and they spray the plane before it takes off again. So do we need a yellow fever shot or not? There are apparently some serious side effects so our dr in DC is reluctant to give it unless it is absolutely required. Thanks in advance for any help.
Some countries require yellow fever vaccination, but only if you are actually entering the country. So, there is no legal requirement, as you are not going to go through immigration (I am not sure if Senegal requires the vaccination in the first place).

Yellow fever is transmitted by female mosquitos and getting a mosquito bite resulting in infection during a refuelling stop is more than highly unlikely.

I would not take a shot under these circumstances (I actually have taken the yf shot but that was for extended travel in the Tanzanian and Ugandan back country).

Cheers,
T.

PS. Welcome to FlyerTalk and the Africa forum! This is a great community, hope you stick around and share your experiences with us.
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Old Jan 10, 11, 4:28 am   #4
  
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I have taken that shot too for travel to Nigeria as it is required upon entry to that country. I am not sure what the "serious" side effects are as I don't recall getting any.

Given your situation; however, I don't think it is necessary to get a shot.

Safe travels and enjoy your trip to SA.
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Old Jan 10, 11, 5:05 am   #5
  
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I have not known of side effects. I take a shot every ten years so Imam always current. I prefer the vaccination to yellow fever.
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Old Jan 10, 11, 6:53 am   #6
  
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From the CDC

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDC
A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.

Reactions are less likely to occur after a booster dose of yellow fever vaccine than after the first dose.

Mild problems:

soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
fever
aches
If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last for 5 to 10 days. In studies, they occurred in as many as 25 percent of vaccine recipients.

Severe problems (estimates based on passive reporting):

Life-threatening allergic reaction (approximately 1 reported per 131,000 doses).
Severe nervous system reactions (approximately 1 reported per 150,000 to 250,000 doses).
Life-threatening severe illness with major organ system failure (approximately 1 reported per 200,000 to 300,000 doses, or 1 reported per 40,000 to 50,000 doses in people 60 years of age and older). More than half of the people who suffer these side effects die.
Given the dangers of Yellow Fever, the very small risk of severe side effects is worth it if you are traveling to a place where Yellow Fever is endemic. However, in the OP's situation, it sounds like the risk of contracting Yellow Fever is even smaller than the risk of severe side effects.
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Old Jan 10, 11, 7:53 am   #7
  
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In this case, I wouldn't bother with a YF shot, as I rate the chances of catching YF on a plane with a/c runnning are pretty low - and, arguably, lower than the chances of even having a mild reaction to the live vaccine.

I had flu-like symptoms from the shot when I received it and felt like crap for about a week or ten days.
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Old Jan 10, 11, 8:07 am   #8
  
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It seems to me the question is whether you will be denied entry to SA because you are coming from a country with yellow fever. I have no idea what the answer would be.
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Old Jan 10, 11, 8:29 am   #9
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manneca View Post
It seems to me the question is whether you will be denied entry to SA because you are coming from a country with yellow fever. I have no idea what the answer would be.
That is indeed the question. And I'm afraid I cannot give a definitive answer. My gut feel says that as the OP will not disembark in Dakar it will not be necessary. But rules are sometimes illogical.

The worst that can happen if one arrives without it is that they will force one to take the shot at JNB (for a fee of something like USD50 IIRC). A search will uncover the discussion that revealed this.

I am quite surprised at the possible side effects. I wonder to what extent it they are related to existing conditions and known allergies? Among my circle we think nothing of keeping our yellow fever shots up to date as you never know when you will pop off to a country where it is endemic and then be asked for it on your return. Now I am surprised that no doctor has ever mentioned side effects to me.
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Old Jan 10, 11, 8:42 am   #10
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manneca View Post
It seems to me the question is whether you will be denied entry to SA because you are coming from a country with yellow fever. I have no idea what the answer would be.
I don't know the answer to that either but some countries are strict on this. A few years ago I got put in quarantine in Cairo for not having a shot (it was 3 weeks expired!). At that time it was pretty bad and we almost had to stay in quarantine for a few days. I would rather take the shot once every 10 years than that ever happening again.
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Old Jan 10, 11, 8:43 am   #11
  
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This from an official RSA Government web site:
Quote:
A vaccination against yellow fever is a requirement for a person whose journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America. According to international health regulations, a valid yellow fever certificate is required from all passengers older than one year coming from or going to infected areas. The countries concerned are listed hereunder.

Visas or permits will not be issued to persons who have not met the requirement of being vaccinated against yellow fever. Yellow fever certificates are valid for a period of 10 years commencing 10 days after the date of vaccination or, in the case of re-vaccination, within such period of 10 years, from the date of that re-vaccination.

According to the Department of Health, persons arriving without a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate will either be:

kept under observation for six days at their own cost
vaccinated against yellow fever at their own cost.
I guess it still revolves around the definition of "passing through".

And this from another gov site:
Quote:
International law requires travellers crossing the borders of countries where yellow fever is endemic to have yellow fever vaccinations.
This at least is clearer since the OP will not "cross the border" of Senegal.
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Old Jan 11, 11, 1:46 am   #12
  
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Ask SAA?

Has the OP asked the airline about the legal position?

I agree there is little/no risk in contracting the disease but in view of the ambiguous advice from the SA government, perhaps SAA could give an opinion
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Old Jan 11, 11, 2:27 am   #13
  
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Quote:
International law requires travellers crossing the borders of countries where yellow fever is endemic to have yellow fever vaccinations.
I *very* strongly doubt that this statement is true.
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Old Jan 11, 11, 6:24 am   #14
  
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I *very* strongly doubt that this statement is true.
You may want to read the INTERNATIONAL HEALTH REGULATIONS(1969) adopted by the Twenty-second World Health Assembly in 1969 and
amended by the Twenty-sixth World Health Assembly in 1973
and the Thirty-fourth World Health Assembly in 1981 before repeating that statement.

I did not read it thoroughly, but there are quite a few regulations on Yellow Fever in this document.

That said, if indeed the regulation exists, I doubt there is any enforcement mechanism.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 6:16 am   #15
  
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Originally Posted by You want to go where? View Post
You may want to read the INTERNATIONAL HEALTH REGULATIONS(1969) adopted by the Twenty-second World Health Assembly in 1969 and
amended by the Twenty-sixth World Health Assembly in 1973
and the Thirty-fourth World Health Assembly in 1981 before repeating that statement.

I did not read it thoroughly, but there are quite a few regulations on Yellow Fever in this document.

That said, if indeed the regulation exists, I doubt there is any enforcement mechanism.
I know about the IHR (though I've only skimmed it and haven't read it thoroughly - nor is it in my area of specialization), as well as a fair bit about public international law generally.

Generally, a convention such as this would permit state parties to apply certain measures, but not require them of the travellers themselves -- which is what the statement above said was the case. (Or at least, that's how I read it.)

A quick skim suggests that this is the case, per IHR Art 68:

Quote:
Article 68
A health authority in an area where the vector of yellow fever is present may
require a person on an international voyage, who has come from an infected area and
is unable to produce a valid certificate of vaccination against yellow fever, to be
isolated until his certificate becomes valid, or until a period of not more than six days
reckoned from the date of last possible exposure to infection has elapsed, whichever
occurs first.
See? It doesn't say that the traveller must have a certificate of vaccination -- just that if the traveller doesn't have one, the receiving state may (not shall/must) take certain measures (isolating the traveller).
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