The 411 on Yellow Fever Vaccination

If you’re applying for a South African visa and your travel itinerary includes countries where yellow fever is endemic, your application has to include a certification that you have been vaccinated against yellow fever at least 10 days before departing on your journey.

The reason for this is that the yellow fever vaccine only takes effect 10 days after it is administered to your body. If you do not obey the 10-day rule, you can be refused entry to South Africa.

Where can I get vaccinated?

There are many clinics throughout South Africa where you can get your yellow fever vaccination. Please ask your healthcare professional for your nearest clinic.

What are the costs involved?

The cost of a yellow fever vaccine in South Africa is about R 350.00* (excluding the consultation fee).

How long is the Yellow Fever Vaccine valid for?

As of 11 July 2016, a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever (ICVP) is valid for the lifetime of the person vaccinated. Prior to 2016, yellow fever vaccination certificates were valid for a period of 10 years, commencing 10 days after the date of vaccination.

Is anyone exempt from the vaccination?

The vaccine is recommended for the majority of adults older than 9 months. However, you and your children are exempt from the vaccine if:

  • your children are younger than 9 months,

  • you’re older than 60 years of age (especially if they’ve never had the vaccine before),

  • you’re pregnant or breastfeeding,

  • you have a weakened immune system, or if

  • you’re allergic to eggs.

Note: You’ll still have to get a certificate from the vaccination center saying that you’ve been exempted.

Which countries require Yellow Fever Certificates?

Africa:

Angola

Benin

Burkina Faso

Burundi

Cameroon

Central African Republic

Chad

Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Equatorial Guinea

Ethiopia

Gabon

Gambia

Ghana

Guinea

Guinea-Bissau

Ivory Coast

Kenya

Liberia

Mali

Mauritania

Niger

Nigeria

Rwanda

Sao Tome and Principe

Senegal

Sierra Leone

Somalia

Sudan

Tanzania

Togo

Uganda

South America:

Argentina

Bolivia

Brazil

Colombia

Ecuador

French Guyana

Guyana

Panama

Peru

Surinam

Venezuela

Vaccination is the single most important method for preventing yellow fever. So, before your next business trip or vacation, make sure that if you’re required to get vaccinated against yellow fever and/or any other harmful diseases that you do so well in advance of your trip to South Africa.

For more information, please visit the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website.

The latest travel and health updates can be found on the WHO (World Health Organisation) website.

*Price correct at time of publishing