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The Yellow Card

A ‘Yellow Card’, maybe the second most important item to pack after a passport. So you need to be prepared when looking to travel, and you can be penalized if your travel documents are not in order.

Whether it’s business or leisure, traveling entails extensive preparation to ensure that the journey would be worthwhile, safe and fun.

A yellow card is shown by the referee during sports to indicate that a player has been officially cautioned… ??‍♀. We aren’t talking about this type of yellow card today.

Yellow Card and Why is it Important?

The Yellow Card or Carte Jaune is a travel document which is an international certificate of vaccination endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), issued and stamped by countries health authorities and may be required for entry into certain countries.

It is needed to show proof that you have received a vaccination against Yellow fever. The vaccines are administered in order to prevent an outbreak and to protect travellers who may be exposed to infection in areas where the disease is prevalent.

What is Yellow Fever?

Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected Aedes mosquitoes.

Many people do not experience symptoms, however, symptoms can include fever, chills, severe headache, nausea, and in severe cases, jaundice, bleeding or even organ failure. A small proportion of patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms and approximately half of those die within 7 to 10 days.

There is no specific treatment for yellow fever, only supportive or preventive care, like vaccination.

How soon do people get sick after being bitten by an infected mosquito?

  • The incubation period (time from infection to illness) is usually 3-6 days.

Do I need a yellow fever vaccination to travel to other countries?

  • It is essential to be vaccinated against yellow fever at least 10 days before traveling to or from a yellow fever endemic country.

Who Should Get A Yellow Fever Vaccination?

A yellow fever vaccination card is required of all travellers who are above 9 months of age from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission, and travelers who visit yellow fever endemic countries because they may bring the disease to countries free from yellow fever. It protects travellers from contacting and/or spreading yellow fever in their destination country.

In order to prevent importation of the disease, many countries will require proof of vaccination against yellow fever before they will issue a visa.

Is the Yellow Fever Vaccine Safe?

World Health Organisation, have deemed the yellow fever vaccine safe for use, with very few risk factors. However, the vaccine is generally not recommended for;

  • infants aged less than 9 months;
  • pregnant women and nursing mothers– except during a yellow fever outbreak when the risk of infection is high.
  • Adults over 60 years
  • people with severe allergies to egg protein, gelatin
  • Anyone who has had a severe reaction to a previous dose of yellow fever vaccine should not be vaccinated again.
  • people with severe immunodeficiency due to symptomatic HIV/AIDS or who have a thymus disorder.
  • people with weakened immune system as result of cancer or other medical conditions, transplant, or drug treatment (such as steroids, chemotherapy, or others that affect immune function)

Countries with Risk of Yellow Fever ?

This includes countries in Africa and Central and South America are either endemic for, or have regions that are endemic for yellow fever.

AFRICA – Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda.

AMERICAS – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

How long does yellow fever vaccination last?

  • For most people, a single dose provides life-long protection against yellow fever disease.

Where Can I Get The Yellow Fever Vaccine?

Only registered Yellow Fever Vaccination Centers can give the yellow fever vaccine, and provide a written proof of the immunization on the International Certificate of Vaccination, and Prophylaxis also called yellow card to travelers and other individuals.

[Update] How and Where to Get the New Yellow Card Certificate in Nigeria (2020)

The steps below details the process of getting the new yellow card online;

Start your online application by logging on to the yellow card Nigeria portal: https://yellowcardnigeria.com/

  • Click on the ‘Register’
  • Fill in your personal information
  • Click “Pay Now” and generate a receipt
  • Make a payment of ₦2,000 on the same page (or go to the bank with the RRR code provided) and print the payment confirmation
  • Go to the Port Health office with the printed documents and a copy of your passport biodata page

A vaccine will be administered after your payment has been confirmed.

Please do you research prior to travelling and also check for more information on the World Health Organisation website.

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One Comment

  1. Avatar Oluwafunmilayo says:

    Thanks Dr Nma Halliday for this interesting and informative piece.

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