Yellow fever vaccine

The yellow fever vaccine licensed for use in the UK is Stamaril, a live, attenuated vaccine. Side effects are usually mild, and a single dose of the vaccine is highly effective for the majority of people who get it, providing lifelong protection.

In some countries, travellers are required to show a yellow fever vaccination certificate upon arrival.

Receive before arrival

10 days before arrival



Not required

£62 per dose

Related diseases
Based on a standard programme for adults. Read more

01. How long the yellow fever vaccine lasts

The yellow fever vaccine lasts a lifetime for most people. Booster doses used to be recommended every ten years, but this has been changed. 

If you have never had a yellow fever vaccination before, you should make sure you have it at least ten days before you travel if you need the vaccine, but 30 days before if possible. This is because the vaccine is effective within 10 days for 80% to 100% of people, and within 30 days for more than 99% of people vaccinated according to the WHO (World Health Organisation).

Moreover, the yellow fever certificate becomes valid 10 days after you get vaccinated, so it is therefore a good idea to plan ahead.

02. Side effects of the yellow fever vaccine

Only one in three people experience any yellow fever vaccine side effects, and leaving yourself vulnerable to yellow fever, by not having the vaccine, is a much greater risk to your health. 

Yellow fever vaccine side effects usually begin quickly after the injection and can last up to 14 days, though most people get better within one week.

Common yellow fever vaccine side effects include: 

  • fever

  • muscle aches

  • mild joint pain

  • soreness, redness or swelling around the injection site

Additionally, there is only a small risk of serious side effects from the yellow fever vaccine, but these are very rare. For example, about 1 in 55,000 people experience a severe allergic reaction. 

Rare yellow fever vaccine side effects include:

  • signs of an allergic reaction such as hives, swelling and fever

  • coughing and difficulty swallowing

  • irritability and feeling nervous

  • itching or tingling skin

  • rapid heartbeat

  • a rash

  • severe headache

  • a stiff neck

  • throbbing ears

  • vomiting

If you do experience rare side effects, you should seek medical advice immediately.

03. Who should get the yellow fever vaccine

The yellow fever vaccine is recommended for the majority of people over nine months of age, if they are living or travelling to a destination in an area where yellow fever is found, such as South America or Africa.

Some countries, such as Australia and China, who do not have a risk of the disease, require a yellow fever certificate if you are entering from a country with risk of yellow fever. In this case, you will therefore also need the vaccine.

But even though most people can have the yellow fever vaccine, it can cause problems for some. This includes people who:

  • have been previously vaccinated

  • are travelling to a country without risk

  • are travelling to a country with no yellow fever certificate requirement

  • have a child that is younger than 9 months of age

  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

  • are immunosuppressed, for example because of steroids or other drugs

  • are severely allergic to egg or other ingredients of the vaccine

  • are suffering from thymus disorder or have had their thymus removed

If you belong to any of these groups or you are unsure whether you should get the yellow fever vaccine, book a free phone consultation with one of our prescribing nurses who can advise you.

04. Yellow fever certificate

The yellow fever certificate is known as the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP).

You will be given a certificate when you are vaccinated at one of our partner pharmacies. Make sure you keep it safe as you will need to show the actual document, not a copy or a photograph, when travelling.

If you hold an old yellow fever certificate, this is now valid forever, even if there is an expiry date on it.

05. Cost of the yellow fever vaccine

If there is a risk of yellow fever at your destination, it is recommended that you check whether you need the vaccine, as the disease can be fatal. For the cost of the yellow fever vaccine, see below.

06. Where to get the yellow fever vaccine

If you are already sure that you need the yellow fever vaccine, you can book a vaccination appointment at your local pharmacy.

If you would like to discuss your specific requirements with a medical advisor, book a free telephone consultation. A Practio nurse will give an individual assessment of your needs and recommend a suitable vaccination programme.

Per Dose

£62 per dose

Related diseases
Content reviewed by

Anne Marie Major, Independent Nurse Prescriber
01 July 2019