Yellow fever booster 'not needed'

21 May 2013 09:23

Holidaymakers do not need to have a booster vaccination to stop them from getting yellow fever

Holidaymakers do not need to have a booster vaccination to stop them from getting yellow fever

Holidaymakers who have had a vaccination against yellow fever do not need a booster a decade down the line, according to health officials. The World Health Organisation (WHO) claims one single immunisation against the disease is enough to give lifelong immunity.

Yellow fever, which is particularly prevalent in parts of Africa, South America and Trinidad and Tobago, is a potentially fatal viral disease that usually spreads via a type of mosquito. However, there have only been 12 known cases which occurred "post-vaccination" since the 1930s when immunisation began.

Diseases such as yellow fever are a reminder of the importance of medical travel insurance for holidaymakers heading overseas.

Dr Helen Rees, chairman of WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunisation, says it is quite clear a single dose of yellow fever vaccine is effective - going against conventional guidance that suggests the vaccination has to be boosted after 10 years. Nevertheless, medical travel insurance is still advised when travelling to high risk areas.

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