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Bull World Health Organ. 2001;79(11):1056-9.

Antibody response to 17D yellow fever vaccine in Ghanaian infants.

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Virology Unit, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NNIMR), University of Ghana, Legon.



To assess the seroresponses to yellow fever vaccination at 6 and 9 months of age; assess any possible adverse effects of immunization with the 17D yellow fever vaccine in infants, particularly at 6 months of age.


Four hundred and twenty infants who had completed BCG, OPV and DPT immunizations were randomized to receive yellow fever immunization at either 6 or 9 months. A single dose of 0.5 ml of the reconstituted vaccine was administered to each infant by subcutaneous injection. To determine the yellow fever antibody levels of the infants, each donated 1 ml whole blood prior to immunization and 3 months post-immunization. Each serum sample was titred on Vero cells against the vaccine virus.


The most common adverse reactions reported were fever, cough, diarrhoea and mild reactions at the inoculation site. The incidences of adverse reactions were not statistically different in both groups. None of the pre-immunization sera in both age groups had detectable yellow fever antibodies. Infants immunized at 6 months recorded seroconversion of 98.6% and those immunized at 9 months recorded 98% seroconversion. The GMT of their antibodies were 158.5 and 129.8, respectively.


The results indicate that seroresponses to yellow fever immunization at 6 and 9 months as determined by seroconversion and GMTs of antibodies are similar. The findings of good seroresponses at 6 months without significant adverse effects would suggest that the 17D yellow fever vaccine could be recommended for use in children at 6 months in outbreak situations or in high risk endemic areas.

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