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Vaccine. 2008 Nov 11;26(48):6077-82. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.09.009. Epub 2008 Sep 20.

Adverse event reports following yellow fever vaccination.

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Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, CO, USA.


Yellow fever (YF) vaccine has been used for prevention of YF since 1937 with over 500 million doses administered. However, rare reports of severe adverse events following vaccination have raised concerns about the vaccine's safety. We reviewed reports of adverse events following YF vaccination reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) from 2000 to 2006. We used estimates of age and sex distribution of administered doses obtained from a 2006 survey of authorized vaccine providers to calculate age- and sex-specific reporting rates of all serious adverse events (SAE), anaphylaxis, YF vaccine-associated neurotropic disease, and YF vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease. Reporting rates of SAEs were substantially higher in males and in persons aged > or =60 years. These findings reinforce the generally acceptable safety profile of YF vaccine, but highlight the importance of physician and traveler education regarding the risks and benefits of YF vaccination, particularly for travelers > or =60 years of age. Vaccination should be limited to persons traveling to areas where the risk of YF is expected to exceed the risk of serious adverse events after vaccination, or if not medically contraindicated, where national regulations require proof of vaccination to prevent introduction of YF.

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