Vaccine Info

YF-VAX Yellow Fever Vaccine

Authored by
Last reviewed
July 22, 2021
Fact checked by
Robert Carlson, MD

YF-VAX Yellow Fever Vaccine Description

YF-VAX is prepared by culturing the 17D-204 strain of yellow fever virus in living avian leukosis-free chicken embryos. The vaccine contains sorbitol and gelatin as a stabilizer, is lyophilized, and is hermetically sealed under nitrogen. No preservative is added.

The vaccine must be reconstituted immediately before using the sterile diluent provided (Sodium Chloride Injection USP - contains no preservative). After reconstitution, YF-VAX® is a slight pink-brown suspension. YF-VAX® complies with the yellow fever vaccine standards of the World Health Organization.

Sanofi Pasteur has been working with the U.S. FDA, CDC, DOD, and other stakeholders since 2016. As a result, vaccination against yellow fever remains available for travelers, U.S. government employees, military, and other response groups.

Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of YF-VAX licensed in the United States, announced a total depletion of YF-Vax as they transition to a new production facility.

Sanofi has worked with the FDA to distribute STAMARIL through an Expanded Access Program during the YF-VAX vaccine shortage until the production of the YF-VAX vaccine resumes in its new facility.

The Stamaril vaccine, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur in France, is a live, attenuated yellow fever vaccine that is investigational/unlicensed in the U.S. Still, it is registered and currently distributed in over 70 countries.

On December 23, 2020, Sanofi Pasteur announced the U.S. FDA had licensed the new U.S. YF-VAX production facility, and doses continue to progress through manufacturing. Efforts are underway to build inventory and supply of YF-VAX and will continue to be prioritized for the U.S. military. We expect to have more information on the return of YF-VAX in June 2021.

Sanofi Pasteur, a Sanofi company's goal is to support continued access to yellow fever vaccination for travelers to international destinations where the yellow fever vaccine is required or recommended. Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges.

YF-VAX Yellow Fever Vaccine Indication

YF-VAX is indicated for active immunization to prevent yellow fever in persons 9 months of age and older who are at increased risk for yellow fever to help prevent them from getting the disease.

Yellow fever vaccination is required by law upon entry to certain countries irrespective of the traveler’s country of origin and in other countries when travelers are coming from endemic areas.

Geriatrics: YF-VAX® is indicated in persons 60 years of age and above.

Pediatrics YF-VAX® is indicated in persons 9 months of age or older.

Pregnant Women Pregnant women should be considered for immunization only if travel to an area with a risk of yellow fever is unavoidable.

YF-VAX vaccine should not be given to an individual who has experienced a serious allergic reaction to eggs, egg products, or a vaccine component using gelatin). A severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) may occur following the use of the YF-VAX vaccine, even in individuals with no prior history of hypersensitivity to the vaccine components.

In addition, the following persons should not receive the YF-VAX vaccine: infants younger than 9 months of age, women who are breastfeeding infants younger than 9 months of age, and individuals with a severely suppressed or compromised immune system. Rarely, the yellow fever vaccine has been associated with disease affecting multiple organs, including inflammation of the brain.

The most common side effects of the YF-VAX vaccine include swelling and pain at the injection site, headache, generalized muscle aches or discomfort, and fever. Other side effects may occur. Vaccination with the YF-VAX vaccine may not protect all individuals.

YF-VAX Yellow Fever Vaccine Dosage

YF-VAX is administered as a single subcutaneous injection of 0.5 mL of reconstituted vaccine. Do not administer YF-VAX by intravascular, intramuscular, or intradermal routes.  A single dose protects for 10 years for most people.

Sanofi Pasteur’s full YF-VAX Vaccine Prescribing Information is available.

YF-VAX Yellow Fever Vaccine News

April 5, 2021 - The U.S. CDC confirmed Sanofi Pasteur announced that YF-VAX is once again available for purchase in the USA. Providers with a current Yellow Fever Vaccination Stamp issued by their state or territorial health department may now order YF-VAX from the manufacturer.

December 23, 2020 - Sanofi Pasteur confirmed the US Expanded Access Investigational Drug Application Program (EAP) for STAMARIL® would continue into 2021. Therefore, when YF-VAX returns, there will be a brief period of transition to discontinue the STAMARIL EAP.

October 23, 2020 - The South Sudan Ministry of Health and other partners launched a reactive yellow fever vaccination campaign in Kajo, Keji, Central Equatoria State. The campaign aims to protect over 90,000 individuals aged 9 months to 60 years from yellow fever infection.

June 25, 2020 - Sanofi Pasteur’s new U.S. YF-VAX® vaccine production facility has been licensed by the U.S. FDA, and doses continue to progress through manufacturing. Efforts are underway to build vaccine supplies, and the U.S. supplies of YF-VAX will continue to be prioritized for the U.S. military. We expect to have more information on the return of YF-VAX in December 2020. The Expanded Access Investigational New Drug Application program for STAMARIL® is expected to continue through 2020. When YF-VAX returns, supplies will be limited, resulting in a gradual transition away from STAMARIL and back to YF-VAX.

December 23, 2019 - Sanofi has worked with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide the STAMARIL vaccine through an Expanded Access Program (EAP) during the YF-VAX vaccine shortage.

August 6, 2019 - The U.S. FDA approved an Expanded Approval Letter for the YF-VAX yellow fever vaccine.

May 2, 2019 – A new state-of-the-art Yellow Fever Vaccine production facility in the USA has been licensed by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The transition of production of YF-VAX continues, said Sanofi Pasteur in a statement.

March 16, 2018 - Brazil is in the midst of a yellow fever outbreak, with the mosquito-borne virus reaching popular tourist destinations that do not normally see the disease. Since January 2018, 10 cases of yellow fever have been confirmed in international travelers visiting Brazil, including 4 deaths.

June 15, 2016 - FDA Approval Letter - To revise the YF-VAX  package insert to align Booster Dosing language with recent changes to International Health Regulations and WHO/ACIP recommendations and modify the text throughout the document to clarify and update the presented information.

YF-VAX Yellow Fever Vaccine Clinical Trials

YF-VAX continues to be studied in various clinical trials.