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Yellow Fever Vaccine Shortage Causes Headache For Travelers

The yellow fever vaccine, YF-Vax, has recently been in short supply. Find out what this means for you.

Mosquito biting on arm

Photo: Ngari.norway (Wikimedia Commons)

Infected mosquitoes can spread diseases such as yellow fever by biting on a person's skin

According the the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the yellow fever vaccine (YF-Vax) has recently become very hard to come by.

What Is Yellow Fever?

Similar to West Nile Virus, Yellow fever is a tropical retrovirus carried by mosquitoes. It can cause fever, chills and more severe symptoms after a period of time including jaundice. The symptom of jaundice – yellow coloration of the skin due to the rise in production of bilirubin created in the liver — is behind the term “Yellow Fever.”

The majority of people infected with the virus experience very mild illness or no illness at all. There’s also an effective vaccine that usually pretty easy for travelers to get their hands on.

A Dangerous Shortage?

Sanofi Pasteur, the company that manufacturers the vaccine, reported a shortage of the vaccine due to production problems but expected to resolve the problem in January. Deficits persist, however, and rationing is expected to continue through April, which could cause a lot of problems for world travelers.

Those who are considering heading abroad any time soon should definitely consult the CDC’s Traveler’s Health website for news and other information related to vaccines.

Read More:

  • Yellow Fever Vaccine Shortage (CDC)
  • Sanofi Pasteur Report on Yellow Fever (Sanofi Pasteur)

 

 

Mary Shown

is an undergraduate student at Indiana University, studying journalism and biology. In addition to writing for A Moment Of Science, Mary balances being captain for the IU Western Equestrian Team as well as media manager for the IU Science Writers. When she's not running around, Mary enjoys reading and writing everything science and hopes to continue this throughout her career.

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