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Commun Dis Intell Q Rep. 2004;28(2):244-8.

Age-related risk of adverse events following yellow fever vaccination in Australia.

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National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases, University of Sydney, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, New South Wales.

Erratum in

  • Commun Dis Intell. 2004;28(3):348.


Reports of six deaths internationally, including one from Australia, plus other cases of severe systemic adverse events following yellow fever (YF) vaccination have raised concern about the safety of YF vaccine, particularly among older vaccinees. We investigated the age-related reporting rates of adverse events following YF vaccination reported to the Australian Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee for the period 1993 to 2002. The reporting rate of systemic adverse events leading to hospitalisation or death was significantly higher among vaccinees aged > or = 65 years [reporting rate ratio (RRR) 8.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.49-53.5] or > or = 45 years (RRR 5.30, 95% CI 1.33-21.2) compared with younger YF vaccinees. The higher reporting rates among older vaccinees are similar to those identified in the United States of America. The data highlight the importance of assessing the destination-specific risk, especially for older travellers to yellow fever endemic areas, and careful monitoring of those who are vaccinated.

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