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Yellow fever: proof of vaccination valid for life and the exceptions


Image 1/1 : a picture of a bug

The WHO decided in June 2016 that the proof of vaccination against yellow fever is administratively valid for life. However, it is not certain that everyone is effectively protected for life after a single vaccination. Therefore, the Belgian Scientific Study Group on Travel Medicine, under the auspices of the Belgian High Health Council, proposes the following recommendation:

The column "recommendation" shows what we recommend in practice. The column "administration" shows what we write in the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis.

Who? Advice Administration
(Validity written on certificate)
Travellers to endemic regions Single reinforcing vaccination, at the occasion of a future travel to an endemic region° (Africa, America) Lifelong
Children younger than 1 year Repeat vaccination after the age of 2 years Until the day of 2nd birthday
Children between 1 and 2 years Repeat next travel 1 year
Pregnant women Repeat next travel 1 year
Interval <28 days between measles and yellow fever vaccination Repeat next travel 1 year
HIV Repeat every 10 years 10 years
Immunesuppression Mesure neutralizing antibodies 10 years
After bone marrow transplantation Restart (if no contra-indications) Not applicable
Lab worker manipulating live yellow fever virus Single reinforcing vaccinations° Lifelong

°The reinforcing vaccination can be administered at any time after the first dose (months or years, one does not have to wait 10 years anymore), but at least 28 days after the first dose.

In order to avoid problems at the border, it is decided to state in the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis that the validity is "lifelong", except for the special conditions mentioned above. Even though this does not always correspond to what we advise. For the sake of clarity, we recommend that you staple a leaflet at the last page of the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis with the following text.

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