Yellow Fever Vaccine - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Yellow Fever Vaccine

  1. What is yellow fever?
    Yellow fever is a deadly disease caused by a virus that is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. The disease is characterized by high fever and jaundice, yellowing of the eyes. That is why the disease is called yellow fever.
  2. Which districts does yellow fever virus occur in Ghana?
    Most cases of yellow fever occur in sub-Saharan Africa including Ghana.
  3. How does one get yellow fever?
    Anyone can get yellow fever when an infected mosquito bites you. Mosquitoes become infected with the yellow fever virus when they bite a human being or monkey that has the yellow fever disease. The disease cannot be spread from person to person.
  4. How soon do people get sick after they are bitten by an infected mosquito?
    You may become ill with yellow fever 3-6 days after an infected mosquito with yellow fever virus bites you.
  5. What are the symptoms of yellow fever? Symptoms usually may occur three to six days after a bite from an infected mosquito. Early symptoms of yellow fever are: fever, chills, severe headache, back pain, general body aches, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and weakness.

    However, if you have the above symptoms and you do not report immediately to the nearest hospital, severe yellow fever (in approximately 15% of cases) may develop with: high fever, jaundice (yellow eyes and skin), abdominal pain and vomiting (sometimes with blood), bleeding from the nose, mouth and eyes, shock and even death.
  6. How can you prevent getting yellow fever?
    During the mass yellow fever vaccination campaign, go to the nearest clinic and get vaccinated against yellow fever. The vaccine for yellow fever is a single dose that can protect you for life.

  7. When is the mass yellow fever vaccination campaign taking place and who can get vaccinated?
    Vaccination against yellow fever will be organized in all communities affected by the outbreak. All persons from 9 months to 60 years in selected districts of Ghana will be vaccinated, except pregnant women.
    Yellow fever vaccination during the campaign is free.
    All persons eligible to be vaccinated are encouraged to access immunization sites to get vaccination for free and receive this vaccine to be protected for life.

  8. Who should get yellow fever vaccine during the mass vaccination campaign?
    All persons from 9 months to 60 years in selected districts of Ghana will be vaccinated. Ensure that your children are vaccinated to protect them for life.

  9. How safe is the yellow fever vaccine?<br. The yellow fever vaccine is very safe. It is given on the left upper arm. The yellow fever vaccine is effective and one shot protects you for life. <br> The mild side effects are very rare. At the same time the risk of side effects is higher for elderly people and those with underlying severe immunodeficiency. That is why it is important to get your vaccination in time.
    Report any adverse event to the nearest health facility.

  10. How many times can one take yellow fever vaccine?
    You can take the yellow fever vaccine just once. One dose is enough to protect you your whole life time.

  11. Why should an elderly man or woman in particular get vaccinated during the yellow fever mass vaccination campaign?
    If you are over 50 years old you are strongly advised to go to the nearest vaccination post to get vaccination against yellow fever. Vaccination is the best way to protect you from getting yellow fever. People over 60 years old have a higher risk of side effects after the vaccination so it is important to get your vaccination in time.

  12. What should you do after vaccination?
    Drink lots of fluids. If your arm is sore or you feel pain after you are vaccinated, try moving your arm around, it can help with pain and swelling. The risk of adverse events after vaccination is rare. Report any adverse event to the nearest health facility.

  13. What should you do when you suspect you or someone has yellow fever after the campaign?
    Go to the nearest hospital or clinic and you will be treated for the symptoms and you will be closely observed by the health workers until the symptoms resolve. Do not take any medicines by yourself if you suspect you have yellow fever. Only take the medicines the health workers give you at the clinic or hospital.

  14. What other ways can you prevent getting infected with yellow fever?
    Sleep under insecticide treated nets, wear long-sleeves, pair of trousers and socks with a hat or cap when outdoors. You can also spray your room with Food and Drugs Authority of Ghana (FDA) approved mosquito repellents.

  15. What are the side effects of yellow fever vaccination?
    Reactions to yellow fever vaccine are generally mild. Report immediately to the nearest clinic when you have any of these symptoms within 10 days after vaccination.