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Birdsfoot Lane Pharmacy - Your health is our priority

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow Fever is a very serious and sometimes fatal viral disease that is spread by day time mosquitoes in tropical parts of Africa and South America. It occurs in both jungle and urban environments and is particularly common in the rainy season.
Birdsfoot Lane Pharmacy is a Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre in Luton. You get a valid Yellow Fever Certificate after your vaccination. This certificate is valid for Life.


Age of Use

9+ months

Doses Required

Just 1



Time before Travel

10 days

Booster Required


Yellow Fever Vaccine Cost


When is yellow fever vaccine indicated?

Yellow fever vaccine is only available from designated centres, including Birdsfoot Lane Pharmacy. The following groups should be immunized:

  • Laboratory workers handling infected material.
  • People aged 9 months or older who are travelling to countries that require an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) for entry.
  • People aged 9 months or older who are travelling to, or living in, infected areas or countries in the yellow fever endemic zone, even if these countries do not require evidence of immunization on entry.
  • Infants aged 6–9 months should only be immunized if the risk of yellow fever during travel is unavoidable; expert opinion should be sought in these situations.
  • Infants under the age of 5 months should not be given yellow fever vaccine.

For people over 60 years of age expert advice should be sought (increased risk of neurological adverse events).

When is proof of yellow fever vaccination required?

Proof of vaccination (International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis) maybe required for travellers coming from countries where yellow fever occurs, including transit through such countries.

For a full list of countries that require a valid certificate see the WHO website :

When is yellow fever vaccine contraindicated?

Yellow fever vaccine should not be given to:

  • Anyone aged 5 months or under.
  • Those who have had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of yellow fever vaccine.
  • Those who have had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to any of the components of the vaccine.
  • Those who have had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to egg.
  • Anyone with a thymus disorder.
  • Anyone who is immunocompromised.

If a yellow fever vaccine is required for a woman who is breastfeeding seek specialist advise from National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

There is some evidence of transmission of the live vaccine virus through breast milk to infants under two months of age. Anyone who must travel and cannot receive a yellow fever vaccine should be informed of the risk of yellow fever and instructed in mosquito bite avoidance measures.

Anyone who is travelling to countries where an International Certificate of Vaccination and Prophylaxis against yellow fever is required for entry, should request that a letter of exemption is issued by the Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre or by the practitioner treating the person. This should be taken into consideration by the port health authorities at the destination.

What are the adverse effects of yellow fever vaccine?

Adverse reactions following yellow fever vaccine are typically mild and consist of headache, myalgia, low grade fever, and/or soreness at the injection site, and will occur in 10–30% of recipients. Injection-site reactions tend to occur from days 1–5 after immunization.

Systemic adverse effects also occur early but may last up to 2 weeks. Up to 1% of individuals may need to alter daily activities due to these.
Rash, urticaria, bronchospasm, and anaphylaxis occur rarely (estimated to be 1 case per 130,000 doses of vaccine).

Post-vaccine encephalitis may occur rarely, particularly in infants (0.5 to 4 cases per 1000 infants under 6 months of age). Rarely, yellow fever vaccine-associated neurological disease (YEL-AND) may occur. YEL-AND begins 4–23 days after vaccination with the onset of fever and headache that may progress to include one or more of: confusion, focal neurological deficits, coma, and Guillain–Barré syndrome. Most people recover completely. All cases have occurred following primary vaccination (in people who have no underlying yellow fever immunity). Rarely, yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD) may occur.

YEL-AVD begins 2–7 days after vaccination with the onset of fever, malaise, headache, and myalgias that progress to hepatitis, hypotension, and multi-organ failure; death has occurred in more than 60% of reported cases. All cases have occurred following primary vaccination (in people without underlying yellow fever immunity). In the reports of viscerotropic disease, 17% have had a history of thymus disease with subsequent thymectomy. Thus, people with thymus disorders should not receive yellow fever vaccine.

For those who are aged 60 years or older, the risk of neurological and viscerotropic adverse events increases:

Neurological events — 17 cases per million doses.
Viscerotropic events — 21 cases per million doses.

Key facts about Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The "yellow" in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients.

Symptoms of yellow fever include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

A small proportion of patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms and approximately half of those die within 7 to 10 days.
The virus is endemic in tropical areas of Africa and Central and South America.

Since the launch of the Yellow Fever Initiative in 2006, significant progress in combatting the disease has been made in West Africa and more than 105 million people have been vaccinated in mass campaigns. No outbreaks of yellow fever were reported in West Africa during 2015.

Large epidemics of yellow fever occur when infected people introduce the virus into heavily populated areas with high mosquito density and where most people have little or no immunity, due to lack of vaccination.

In these conditions, infected mosquitoes transmit the virus from person to person.

Yellow fever is prevented by an extremely effective vaccine, which is safe and affordable. A single dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and life-long protection against yellow fever disease and a booster dose of the vaccine is not needed. The vaccine provides effective immunity within 30 days for 99% of persons vaccinated.

Good supportive treatment in hospitals improves survival rates. There is currently no specific anti-viral drug for yellow fever.

Signs and symptoms of Yellow Fever

Once contracted, the yellow fever virus incubates in the body for 3 to 6 days. Many people do not experience symptoms, but when these do occur, the most common are fever, muscle pain with prominent backache, headache, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. In most cases, symptoms disappear after 3 to 4 days.

A small percentage of patients, however, enter a second, more toxic phase within 24 hours of recovering from initial symptoms. High fever returns and several body systems are affected, usually the liver and the kidneys. In this phase people are likely to develop jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes, hence the name ‘yellow fever’), dark urine and abdominal pain with vomiting. Bleeding can occur from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach. Half of the patients who enter the toxic phase die within 7 - 10 days.

Yellow fever is difficult to diagnose, especially during the early stages. More severe disease can be confused with severe malaria, leptospirosis, viral hepatitis (especially fulminant forms), other haemorrhagic fevers, infection with other flaviviruses (e.g. dengue haemorrhagic fever), and poisoning.

Blood tests (RT-PCR) can sometimes detect the virus in the early stages of the disease. In later stages of the disease, testing to identify antibodies is needed (ELISA and PRNT).

Transmission of Yellow Fever

The yellow fever virus is an arbovirus of the flavivirus genus and is transmitted by mosquitoes, belonging to the Aedes and Haemogogus species. The different mosquito species live in different habitats - some breed around houses (domestic), others in the jungle (wild), and some in both habitats (semi-domestic). There are 3 types of transmission cycles:

Sylvatic (or jungle) yellow fever: In tropical rainforests, monkeys, which are the primary reservoir of yellow fever, are bitten by wild mosquitoes which pass the virus on to other monkeys. Occasionally humans working or travelling in the forest are bitten by infected mosquitoes and develop yellow fever.

Intermediate yellow fever: In this type of transmission, semi-domestic mosquitoes (those that breed both in the wild and around households) infect both monkeys and people. Increased contact between people and infected mosquitoes leads to increased transmission and many separate villages in an area can develop outbreaks at the same time. This is the most common type of outbreak in Africa.

Urban yellow fever: Large epidemics occur when infected people introduce the virus into heavily populated areas with high mosquito density and where most people have little or no immunity, due to lack of vaccination. In these conditions, infected mosquitoes transmit the virus from person to person.

Prevention of Yellow Fever

1. Vaccination
Vaccination is the most important means of preventing yellow fever. In high-risk areas where vaccination coverage is low, prompt recognition and control of outbreaks using mass immunization is critical for preventing epidemics. It is important to vaccinate most (80 % or more) of the population at risk to prevent transmission in a region with a yellow fever outbreak.

Several vaccination strategies are used to protect against outbreaks: routine infant immunization; mass vaccination campaigns designed to increase coverage in countries at risk; and vaccination of travellers going to yellow fever endemic areas.

The yellow fever vaccine is safe and affordable and a single dose provides life-long protection against yellow fever disease. A booster dose of yellow fever vaccine is not needed.

There have been rare reports of serious side-effects from the yellow fever vaccine. The rates for these severe ‘adverse events following immunization’ (AEFI), when the vaccine provokes an attack on the liver, the kidneys or on the nervous system, leading to hospitalization, are between 0.4 and 0.8 per 100 000 people vaccinated.

The risk is higher for people over 60 years of age and anyone with severe immunodeficiency due to symptomatic HIV/AIDS or other causes, or who have a thymus disorder. People over 60 years of age should be given the vaccine after a careful risk-benefit assessment.

People who are usually excluded from vaccination include:

infants aged less than 9 months, except during an epidemic when infants aged 6-9 months, in areas where the risk of infection is high, should also receive the vaccine;
pregnant women – except during a yellow fever outbreak when the risk of infection is high;
people with severe allergies to egg protein; and
people with severe immunodeficiency due to symptomatic HIV/AIDS or other causes, or who have a thymus disorder.
In accordance with the International Health Regulations (IHR), countries have the right to require travellers to provide a certificate of yellow fever vaccination. If there are medical grounds for not getting vaccinated, this must be certified by the appropriate authorities. The IHR are a legally binding framework to stop the spread of infectious diseases and other health threats. Requiring the certificate of vaccination from travellers is at the discretion of each State Party, and it is not currently required by all countries.

2. Mosquito control
The risk of yellow fever transmission in urban areas can be reduced by eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites by applying larvicides to water storage containers and other places where standing water collects. Insecticide spraying to kill adult mosquitoes during urban epidemics can help reduce the number of mosquitoes, thus reducing potential sources of yellow fever transmission.

Historically, mosquito control campaigns successfully eliminated Aedes aegypti, the urban yellow fever vector, from most of Central and South America. However, Aedes aegypti has re-colonized urban areas in the region, raising a renewed risk of urban yellow fever. Mosquito control programmes targeting wild mosquitoes in forested areas are not practical for preventing jungle (or sylvatic) yellow fever transmission.

3. Epidemic preparedness and response
Prompt detection of yellow fever and rapid response through emergency vaccination campaigns are essential for controlling outbreaks. However, underreporting is a concern – the true number of cases is estimated to be 10 to 250 times what is now being reported.

WHO recommends that every at-risk country have at least one national laboratory where basic yellow fever blood tests can be performed. One laboratory-confirmed case of yellow fever in an unvaccinated population is considered an outbreak. A confirmed case in any context must be fully investigated, particularly in an area where most of the population has been vaccinated. Investigation teams must assess and respond to the outbreak with both emergency measures and longer-term immunization plans.
Opening Times
Mon: 9:00am - 6:30pm

Tue: 9:00am - 6:30pm

Wed: 9:00am - 6:30pm

Thur: 9:00am - 6:30pm

Fri: 9:00am - 6:30pm

Sat: 9:00am - 1:00pm

Sun: Closed

Contact us
t: 01582 591 616
Birdsfoot Lane Pharmacy
255 Birdsfoot Lane, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU3 2HX
Superintendent Pharmacist : Mr Rupesh Shah
GPhC Pharmacist Reg No. : 2048914
GPhC Premises Reg No. : 1028845
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