Travelling Abroad: Yellow Fever Vaccination

Is all set to embark on that trip outside your country—your luggage, visa, plane ticket, and passport? What about your yellow fever vaccination certificate? Yes, yellow fever vaccination certificate! Don’t know about that? Don’t worry. We’ve got you.

Following the international Health Regulation, countries require travellers to provide a certificate of yellow fever vaccination. Occasionally, travellers who leave yellow fever endemic countries may bring the disease to countries free from yellow fever. To prevent such importation of disease, many countries require proof of vaccination against yellow fever before they will issue a visa.

Yellow fever is a viral blood disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes known as “Aedes” mosquitoes from person to person. It’s endemic in Africa, central and south America. You may exhibit symptoms such as fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain with prominent backache, vomiting, fatigue, and loss of appetite. In most cases, symptoms disappear after 3-4 days. Some percentage of people enter a second phase where they usually develop jaundice ( yellowing of the skin and eyes) hence the name “yellow fever”.

Am I at risk for yellow fever?

If you haven’t been vaccinated for yellow fever, you are at risk when you travel to endemic countries.

How do I prevent yellow fever when I travel to endemic countries?
I’m sure you’re wondering how you can prevent yourself from contracting yellow fever when you travel to endemic countries. Well, the only way to do that is through vaccination. Vaccination activates immunity within 10days for 80-100% of people and 30days for 99% of people.

Who can get vaccinated?
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required on arrival from all travellers 9months of age and older. Hence people of such ages can be vaccinated. Infants less than six months, pregnant women, and people with severe allergies to egg protein are excluded from the vaccination.

When should I get vaccinated?
If it’s your first time getting the shot, you should get it at least 10 days before your trip since the certificate will only be accepted if you are travelling 10 days after getting the shot.

Do I need to take the shot again if I’ve taken it already?
If you have been vaccinated before within 10 years before the trip and still have the yellow card, you don’t need to take the shot again. Ensure the date of vaccination is clear and eligible. But, if you don’t have the yellow card or have lost it, you must get a booster dose at least 10days before your trip so you can get the card. Don’t worry, there are no side effects.

How long is a yellow fever vaccination certificate valid?
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is valid 10 days after vaccination.

What should I do if I’m contraindicated to the vaccination?
If you are excluded from taking the vaccine, you have to present a vaccination waiver issued by a medical practitioner stating the reasons for your exclusion.

How much does a vaccination cost?
The yellow fever vaccine costs Ghc 50.00 in Ghana. The rate varies with other currencies.

Where can I get vaccinated?
Go to any hospital nearby where they hold Child Welfare Clinics(CWC) and you’ll be vaccinated. You can also get vaccinated at the borders or the airport.

What happens if I fail to present my certificate of vaccination on yellow fever?
If you fail to show your certificate of vaccination you’ll be prevented from boarding the plane.

Travelling Abroad: Yellow Fever

Go get vaccinated and get your vaccination certificate ready for your trip. With the certificate, no “wahala” at the airport. Safe trip!

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