SJBPH Announces Yellow Fever Vaccine Shortage

By Claire Ninde

Production of Yellow Fever Vaccine (YF-VAX) in the U.S. has ceased while the manufacturer transitions production to a new facility.

San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) will not be receiving more YF-VAX until mid-2018.

Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by the yellow fever virus found in certain parts of Africa and South America. Yellow fever is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito and cannot be spread person to person by direct contact. People with yellow fever disease usually have to be hospitalized.

Guidance on obtaining an YF-VAX if you are planning a trip to South America or Africa:

Entry into some countries in South America and Africa requires a stamped and signed “International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis” (yellow card). The yellow fever certificate is valid 10 days after immunization and therefore should be received 10 days prior to travel.

While YF-VAX production is on hold, SJBPH recommends travelers to these regions immunize from yellow fever with Stamaril, another yellow fever vaccine registered and distributed in more than 70 other countries and comparable in safety and efficacy to YF-VAX.

Stamaril has been limited in distributed to approximately 250 vaccination centers in the U.S. The closest clinics offering this vaccine are in Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, and Denver:

If you are unable to travel to one of these locations, vaccination while in transit may be an option if:

1) no International Health Regulations (IHR) Entry Requirements exist in the next 10 days;

2) no significant yellow fever exposure is anticipated in the next 10 days;

3) no relevant medical issues are present in the traveler.

If unable to obtain the yellow fever vaccine you may need to consider postponing travel to countries with yellow fever vaccine requirements until after mid-2018.

You may schedule a travel consult with the SJBPH immunization nurse to discuss yellow fever transmission risk per your specific travel plans and other recommended vaccines and precautions. Call 970-247-5702 to schedule an appointment.

San Juan Basin Public Health is a local public health agency, governed by a seven member local Board of Health, serving all residents of Archuleta and La Plata counties. For close to 70 years, San Juan Basin Public Health has improved the health and environment of the Southwest Colorado.

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