Travelers no longer need booster vaccinations for yellow fever following the coming into force of amendments to International Health Regulations (2005).
The amendments that entered into force on July 11, 2016, changed the period of validity of the international certificate of vaccination against yellow fever and the protection provided by vaccination against the infection from ten years to the life of the person vaccinated.
The changes are based on the recommendations by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation. The experts conducted a scientific review and analysis of evidence on issues concerning vaccination against yellow fever in 2014.
The experts concluded that a single dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and lifelong protection against the disease and that a booster dose is not needed.
The changes affect both existing and new certificates. It also implies that re-vaccination or a booster dose of yellow fever vaccine cannot be required of international travelers as a condition of entry into a country, regardless of the date the international certificate of vaccination was initially issued.
“The Validity of a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever shall extend for the life of the person vaccinated, beginning 10 days after the date of vaccination,” the updated text of Annex seven of the International Health Regulations, reads.
Yellow fever is the only disease specified in the International Health Regulations (2005) for which countries may require proof of vaccination from travelers as a condition of entry.