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Vaccine. 2005 Jun 10;23(30):3908-14. Epub 2005 Apr 2.

Yellow fever vaccination: how much is enough?

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School of Medicine, The University of São Paulo and LIM 01/HCFMUSP, Av. Dr. Arnaldo, 455, São Paulo CEP 01246-903, SP, Brazil.


In recent years, a growing number of serious adverse events (including deaths) associated with the yellow fever (YF) vaccine has been reported. If YF vaccination were incorporated in routine programs, administered to children, the risk of deaths from this vaccine would be minimized provided that mortality of children vaccinated below 1 year were negligible. However, in affected areas the vaccine is administered to all age groups. This poses a dilemma to public health authorities - what proportion of a population subject to low risk of YF outbreaks should be vaccinated in order to minimize the total number of serious adverse events (including deaths) due both to natural infection and vaccination? In other words, how much vaccination is safe? Our results suggest that, depending on the age-specific rates of developing vaccine-induced serious adverse events and the risk of yellow fever outbreaks, the optimum proportion to vaccinate may be lower than the proportion that would prevent an epidemics or even be zero. We also show that the vaccine should not be applied to individuals older than 60 years of age because the risk of serious adverse events (including deaths) is higher for that age class. Our work is instrumental to the discussion on the optimum strategy to vaccinate affected populations against yellow fever. Therefore, the aim of this work is to estimate the optimum proportion to vaccinate against YF taking into account the risks of serious adverse events associated with both the vaccine and natural infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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