Yellow Fever FAQs
Q: What is Yellow Fever?
A: Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus that is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. It is endemic in tropical areas, namely Central and South America and Africa. It affects people of all ages.
Q: How can Yellow Fever be prevented?
By avoiding mosquito bites and being vaccinated against the disease. Some measures which can be taken to avoid mosquito bites are: using insect repellents, wearing protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants and eliminating mosquito breeding sites.
Q: At what age do persons usually receive the Yellow Fever vaccine?
A: The vaccine is given to all children at1 year of age as a part of the National Immunization Programme. It is also given to adults.
Q: Who should NOT get the Yellow fever vaccine?
A: Children under 1 year of age, pregnant women and nursing mothers should not receive this vaccine. Anyone with a severe allergy to any part of the vaccine, including eggs, chicken proteins, or gelatin also should not be given the vaccine.
If you have any of the following conditions, your healthcare provider can help you decide whether you can safely receive the vaccine:
- HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system
- Weakened immune system as a result of cancer or other medical conditions, organ transplant, or drug treatment (such as steroids, chemotherapy, or others that affect immune function)
- Thymus disorder
Q: How often do I have to take the Vaccine?
A: According to WHO, IHR_WHA67.13, one dose of the vaccine is valid for life.
Q: What are the side effects of this vaccine?
A: Side effects of the Yellow fever vaccine can include pain to the vaccination site, mild headaches, muscle aches, and low-grade fevers.
Q: Can I resume my daily activities after receiving this vaccine?
A: Yes you can.
Q: Do I need to receive this vaccine for traveling purposes?
A: You are required to receive the Yellow Fever vaccine and produce your International Yellow Fever certificate for entry into certain countries.
Q: Which countries do I need it for?
A: Areas at risk for Yellow Fever virus transmission. These include Countries in the African continent and other countries such as Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, French Guiana, Venezuela, Colombia, and Jamaica. Residents of Guyana are NOT required to show proof of immunization for travel to and from the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, and most Caribbean countries.
For a list of countries which DO NOT require proof of immunization, kindly visit the World Health Organisation Website.
Q: Do I need to produce proof of immunization if I am in transit in countries which require such?
A: Only if you will be in transit for more than 12 hours
Please note that it is not within the power of Guyana’s Ministry of Public Health to control what occurs in other countries.
Q: If I am traveling to Guyana from another country, do I need proof that I received this vaccine?
A: Persons traveling to Guyana from African States which have been listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as being at risk of Yellow Fever are required to have that vaccine to gain entry. Persons who have recently traveled to those countries are also required to show proof of immunization. However, Guyanese who have traveled to those countries and have not been vaccinated, will NOT be denied entry but will be quarantined and observed.
Q: How long do I have to receive the vaccine before I travel?
A: The vaccine is to be administered 10 days prior to travel, so as to stimulate the antibodies in your body to fight off any contact with the pathogens.
Q: Can I receive the Yellow Fever vaccine at the Airport?
A: NO. For the very reason above – it needs to be administered 10 days prior to travel