Yellow Fever Vaccination

What is the yellow fever vaccine?

The yellow fever vaccine provides immunity against yellow fever.

Yellow fever is a highly infectious, mosquito-borne disease that is endemic to many countries in Africa, Central America and South America. Its name is derived from the yellowed eyes and skin that develop when the virus affects the liver and kidneys.

In a small percentage of patients, recovery from the disease can be followed by a toxic phase. During this time, a person will likely experience a high fever and several organs, such as the liver and kidney, will be affected.

Among those who progress into this toxic phase, approximately half can die within 7 – 10 days.

How the yellow fever vaccine works

The yellow fever vaccine stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies against the yellow fever virus. Immunity usually develops in approximately 10 days for most people or within 30 days.

Why do you need the yellow fever vaccine?

As there is no specific anti-viral treatment for yellow fever, getting vaccinated is an important preventive method for those who may find themselves at risk of exposure.

You will have to bear the cost of the vaccine as it is not part of the national immunisation schedule in Singapore.

When do you need the yellow fever vaccine?

The yellow fever vaccine is recommended for those 9 months and older who live in areas where yellow fever is common, such as certain parts of Africa and South and Central America.

To visit these countries, yellow fever vaccination is required, and individuals who plan to travel to those areas must do so or be denied entry. Usually, only a single dose of the vaccine is required, but some countries may require a booster if several years have passed since the initial vaccination.

You should get your shot at least 10 days before your trip. Children who have recently received their MMR vaccine should wait at least 4 weeks before getting the yellow fever vaccine.

Singapore residents or visitors who have been to these countries or regions 6 days prior to arrival must present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter the country. If you lose your certificate, you will need to have it reissued by the centre which administered your shot.

Those who are unable to receive the vaccination may be quarantined for six days from the date of departure (the duration of the incubation period).

When making travel arrangements, it is best to consult with the relevant immigration authorities well beforehand so that any required travel vaccines may be administered in a timely manner.

Who should not receive the yellow fever vaccine?

The yellow fever vaccine is generally safe for most people, but it is not recommended for those:

  • Allergic to any component of the vaccine
  • Below 6 months of age
  • Diagnosed with a malignant tumour
  • Who have abnormal or compromised immune function, including HIV and AIDS
  • Receiving treatment that suppresses the immune system
  • Who are recipients of transplanted organs

Individuals who are feeling unwell, those above 60 years, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should speak to their doctors before getting the yellow fever vaccine.

How do you prepare for the yellow fever vaccine?

There is no specific preparation for taking the yellow fever vaccine. However, you should inform your doctor of any health conditions and medications you might be taking.

What can you expect when getting the yellow fever vaccine?

The yellow fever vaccine is given in the arm. In most circumstances, only a single dose is needed.

What are the common side effects of the yellow fever vaccine?

Common side effects of the yellow fever vaccine typically last 3 – 4 days and include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches or cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Soreness/swelling at the injection site

What are the serious side effects that require medical attention?

In rare situations, a serious allergic reaction may occur. Serious side effects include:

  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Elevated heartbeat
  • Skin discomfort, such as burning or tingling
  • Skin rash or redness
  • Stiff neck
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting

If any of these symptoms occur, seek medical attention immediately.

Where can I get vaccinated?

Find a Parkway Shenton clinic near you and call us to confirm if your preferred vaccine is available.

Find a clinic near me

Why choose Parkway Shenton?

Comprehensive family care
Comprehensive family care

A range of healthcare services for you and your family, no matter your needs

Connection to IHH network
Connection to IHH network

Seamless connections to Mount Elizabeth, Gleneagles and other brands in our IHH Healthcare network

Singapore’s oldest GP group
Singapore’s oldest GP group

Your trusted healthcare provider since 1973