Yellow fever is a mosquito-born viral disease that can cause serious health implications and even death. Although spread by mosquitos, once a person develops yellow fever, it can be contaminated to other people. Symptoms of yellow fever start with fever, chills, headache, nausea and vomiting. The disease can develop to cause jaundice (a yellowing of the skin or eyes), essential organ failure (kidney, liver, and respiratory system), as well as death.
A yellow fever vaccine is required for travelers taking a journey to and from certain countries. As the disease is most predominant in parts of Africa and South America, this is often the case when travelling to sub-Saharan Africa, and tropical South America.
What Is Yellow Fever Vaccine?
The yellow fever vaccine is a vaccine given to help prevent a person from getting infected with yellow fever. The vaccine is only to be administered at approved vaccination centers, whereby the patient receives a valid certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP), which is required for international travel to certain regions. The vaccination must take place at least ten days before the day that you plan to travel, and it is valid for 10 years from the date of vaccination. The vaccination is required by anyone who is older than 9 (including age 9) and is travelling to countries that necessitate proof of yellow fever vaccination before entry.
How Much Does Yellow Fever Vaccine Cost?
On average, for those who are not covered by any health insurance, the total cost ranges anywhere from $150 to $350. For those covered for travel-related vaccinations in their health insurance, the whole process will likely cost from $10 to $40.
1. What You Need to Pay
For those not covered by insurance, normal costs for the vaccination include a consultation fee, possibly a fee for the shots administration, and the cost of the required dose of vaccine itself. Specifically, how much you pay will vary depending on the medical facility you choose. For example, a vaccination clinic in San Francisco is almost 70 dollars, cheaper than a similar clinic in Texas.
For those covered by health insurance, normal costs include a co-pay of around $25 for the doctor’s visit, and sometimes co-pay for the cost of the vaccine.
2. Other Costs
As yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitos, it is often recommended that, in addition to the vaccine, you also purchase an insect repellent when travelling to areas where there is a risk of yellow fever. A tube or bottle of insect repellent usually costs around $10. Ensure that the repellent has DEET as the active ingredient. These can be purchased at drugstores, outdoor supply stores, as well as discount stores. It is also recommended to receive a booster shot after 10 years has passed since you received the vaccination.
For more information on yellow fever vaccine costs and costs of other vaccines, click HERE.
Effectiveness of Yellow Fever Vaccine
The yellow fever vaccine cost pales insignificant when compared to its importance in preventing yellow fever. For 80 to 100 percent people can be successfully protected from the yellow fiver within 10 days. After 30 days of vaccination, this figure raises to 99 percent.
It is said that a single dose of the vaccine is enough to provide you with life-long immunity, a booster shot is often recommended though, and indeed required to renew the validity of your ICVP. It is also important to note that serious side effects to the vaccination are extraordinarily rare.
How Is Yellow Fever Vaccine Injected?
The vaccine is administered as a single dose injection, most preferable given at least 10 days before your travel due date. As mentioned, these vaccinations must be performed at approved vaccination clinics, in order to receive a valid ICVP. For finding your nearest vaccination clinic, and further information, please contact your state health department.
Other Protective Measures
Even if you have had the vaccine, it would also always be wise to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. This is due to the fact that mosquitos carry other malicious diseases aside from yellow fever. Besides, a mosquito bit can be highly irritating and extremely unpleasant. Measures you can take to avoid being the target of a mosquito’s bite can include:
- Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs, preferably loose-fitting and light-colored.
- Consistently apply insect repellent.
- Try to stay in accommodation that offers protection from mosquitos, i.e. mosquito nets around the beds.