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Press Release: Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements and Shortages

It has come to the Department of Health’s attention that there is confusion about the Yellow Fever requirements for travellers to and from Zambia and that there is a shortage of vaccines in the country.

The public should please note that Zambia is not presently on the list of countries from which South Africa requires a Yellow Fever certificate and travellers to and from this country are not required to have a valid Yellow Fever certificate. Should the policy change, a press release will be issued to that effect and the change will be posted on the Department’s website.

The supplier of Yellow Fever vaccines has informed us that demands have exceeded supply and that there is currently a shortage in the country, which will only be corrected by late August.

South Africans who intend to travel to or through high risk areas are advice to postpone travel, if possible. If not, to avoid mosquito bites by wearing long sleeved clothes, especially in early evenings and when outdoors; to apply insecticide repellent to the exposed body parts and to sleep under treated mosquito nets. These travellers should also ensure that they are aware and watch out for Yellow Fever symptoms. Yellow Fever symptoms include a sudden onset of fever, headache backache, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice.  In very severe cases there may be nosebleeds, vomiting of blood and in stools.

The clinical symptoms may be confused with other viral infections therefore, confirmation of the presence of Yellow Fever virus is critical.

Upon their return into the country, they need to continue monitoring themselves for symptoms and be in telephonic contact with port health officials for a period of up to six days.


For further information please contact Mr Fidel Hadebe.

Issued by the National Department of Health.



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Last updated: 04 August 2011
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