People in Africa and parts of South America must be well versed with the Yellow fever disease. It is a viral disease which spreads through the Aedes mosquito. It originates in the jungle monkeys, passes on to the mosquitoes and then to human beings.
From here it travels to urban dwellers also when travelers come back to home lands, get bitten by mosquito and affect them. One mosquito being infected brings a large population at risk. There have been quite a few yellow fever epidemics in the past. It has cost us lakhs of life. One must take all possible measures to prevent it by taking precautions like vaccination.
Vaccination is the process of making the body immune to a particular disease. Each vaccine is unique. Through a vaccine a live virus or bacteria of that disease is injected. It helps the white blood cells develop antibodies which will immediately detect the disease in future and wipe it off. Yellow fever vaccine has also been in use for over a 50 years.
Mass vaccination campaigns are being carried out in parts of Africa and South America. However, we are nowhere near eradication of this deadly disease. Yet, yellow fever vaccination has been largely helpful in preventing endemics. The vaccine is known as 17D or Stamaril.
Yellow Fever Vaccine-who Needs It
In the 33 African countries most affected by Yellow fever everyone is administered the vaccine. The same is done in the 13 countries of South America where people are at the highest risk of acquiring the deadly yellow fever disease. This vaccine is given to children between 6-9 months of age.
The vaccine remains effective for 10 years. It is advised that a vaccine booster is given after every decade to remain absolutely disease free. It is an international norm requiring all travelers travelling to these countries to acquire yellow fever vaccine. This compulsory vaccine not only saves you from the disease but saves a large population of your country from the risk. One must get the vaccine about 10 days before the travel date.
Yellow Fever Vaccine-who Should Avoid It
Yellow fever vaccine is not recommended for children between 0-6 months of age. This is primarily to avoid the risk of children acquiring encephalitis. Also pregnant women and breast feeding mothers should avoid it. Further, patients who are undergoing any sort of chemotherapy or radiotherapy must seek their doctor’s advice before exposing themselves to the risk of yellow fever vaccine.
HIV positive people must seek their doctor’s nod before going ahead with the vaccination. Another important point to be noted is that anybody who has in the past shown signs of allergy towards egg, egg products, chicken or gelatin should avoid the vaccine. There is an in-famous saying associated with the yellow fever vaccine asking you to take it only if you really need it.
Yellow Fever Vaccine-side Effects
There is a very low chance of the vaccine resulting in undesired consequences. Immediately after the vaccine fevers, swelling and pains are considered normal but if this persists for more than 48 hours you should immediately consult a doctor.
There are very rare recorded cases of multiple organ failure, severe allergy, nervous system reactions etc. If you observe or feel any drastic changes after the vaccine immediate report it to the nearest paramedic.