Are Yellow Fever Vaccine Boosters Needed
A recently published review aimed to assess the necessity of a booster vaccination based on the long-term immunogenicity of primary yellow fever vaccination.
Overall, these researchers found that most primary vaccine recipients maintain neutralizing antibodies above protective thresholds ten or more years post-vaccination.
In healthy adults in non-endemic settings, who were primarily travelers, this systematic review and meta-analysis observed high rates of seroprotection 10–60 years post-vaccination (overall seroprotection rate 94%).
Published on January 22, 2024, these findings support the International Health Regulations, stating that single-dose yellow fever vaccination provides lifelong protection for travelers.
However, in people living with HIV and young children, booster doses might still be required because lower grades of protection were found.
Additionally, lower protection rates were observed among residents of endemic areas in Brazil.
Furthermore, because the yellow fever vaccine is contraindicated while using immunosuppressive drugs, no advice is provided by guidelines concerning booster vaccination in this situation.
The complete, unedited study is posted at this The Lancet Global Health link.
Jeri Beales MSN, RN, at Destination Health Travel Clinic, a CDC Yellow Fever vaccination site near Boston, MA., spoke with Precision Vaccinations on February 6, 2024, and stated, "This study adds further evidence that a single dose of yellow fever vaccine provides long-term immunity and backs up the decision in 2016 by the International Health Regulation to recommend a one time dose of yellow fever officially."
"Because yellow fever can sometimes become a deadly illness, it does warrant talking to a travel health specialist before your next trip to endemic areas."
Yellow fever is an acute febrile hemorrhagic and mainly zoonotic disease caused by the yellow fever virus, belonging to the genus Flavivirus, says the U.S. CDC.
Yellow fever is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa and South American tropical regions, where outbreaks have been reported, such as in Brazil.
Various countries in these regions require proof of vaccination before arrival.
As of February 6, 2024, the YF-VAX® vaccine is offered in the United States at certified clinics and pharmacies. The U.S. CDC says a yellow fever vaccine booster dose is unnecessary.
Other countries offer various yellow fever vaccines.