Yellow Fever Vaccine Booster Doses: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2015

J. Erin Staples, MD; Joseph A. Bocchini Jr., MD; Lorry Rubin, MD; Marc Fischer, MD


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2015;64(23):647-650. 

In This Article

Yellow Fever Vaccine Recommendations and International Health Regulations Requirements

Yellow fever vaccine is recommended for persons aged ≥9 months who are traveling to or living in areas with risk for yellow fever virus transmission.[7] International Health Regulations allow countries to require proof of yellow fever vaccination from travelers entering their country.[8] These requirements are intended to minimize the potential importation and spread of yellow fever virus. Currently, International Health Regulations specify that a dose of yellow fever vaccine is valid for 10 years. Therefore, at present, travelers to countries with a yellow fever vaccination entry requirement must have received a dose of yellow fever vaccine within the past 10 years.

Recent Changes to Yellow Fever Vaccine Recommendations

In April 2013, the World Health Organization Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization concluded that a single primary dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and lifelong protection against yellow fever disease, and that a booster dose is not needed.[9] This conclusion was based on a systematic review of published studies on the duration of immunity after a single dose of yellow fever vaccine, and on data that suggest vaccine failures are extremely rare and do not increase in frequency with time since vaccination.[10] The advisory group noted that future studies and surveillance data should be used to identify specific risk groups, such as persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or infants, who might benefit from a booster dose. In May 2014, the World Health Assembly adopted the recommendation to remove the 10-year booster dose requirement from the International Health Regulations by June 2016.[11]