Update IHR on Yellow Fever vaccine booster now, don’t wait until 2016

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Update IHR on Yellow Fever vaccine booster now, don’t wait until 2016

This petition had 116 supporters

Linda Shepard Salzer started this petition to Director-General of WHO Dr. Margaret Chan

Thirty five years ago I lived in South America as an AFS exchange student. During my year there I lived with a wonderful host family, made many friends in school and among neighbors, and became a global citizen.

My husband and I have scheduled a trip to visit my host family and friends and to meet some of my host siblings' children (and grand children!) for the first time. We also plan to spend two days visiting a UNESCO World Heritage site in a neighboring country.

After we had purchased airfare, I discovered that I could be quarantined for 6 days or forced to have a vaccine booster which the World Health Organization (WHO) publicly deemed unnecessary in May 2013. How many others will avoid visiting certain countries or risk getting a booster which is not necessary because of outdated regulations? 

“An article published in WHO’s Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) reveals that the Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) has reviewed the latest evidence and concluded that a single dose of vaccination is sufficient to confer life-long immunity against yellow fever disease.” www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2013/yellow_fever_20130517/en/

“A single dose of YF vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained lifelong protective immunity against YF disease; a booster dose is not necessary for protection but may still be required by some countries.” www.who.int/ith/vaccines/yf/en/

No vaccine is without risk. “Serious adverse events can occur following yellow fever vaccination. Therefore, persons should only be vaccinated if they are at risk of exposure to yellow fever virus or require proof of vaccination for country entry.” www.cdc.gov/yellowfever/vaccine/

Neither of the countries requires the Yellow Fever vaccine or booster for those arriving directly from the U.S. but one of the countries currently requires it for those arriving from the area we'll visit in the other country.

Countries base travel vaccine requirements on the International Health Regulations (IHR) which still state that one needs a booster for this vaccine every 10 years.

“The WHO World Health Assembly in May 2014 adopted an amendment to Annex 7 of the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR), which stipulates that the period of protection afforded by yellow fever vaccination, and the term of validity of the certificate will change from 10 years to the duration of the life of the person vaccinated.

"This change will enter into force legally in June 2016.” www.who.int/ith/updates/20140605/en/

Please request that the IHR formally recognize the lifelong immunity provided by a single dose of the Yellow Fever vaccine and for all countries to adjust their requirements accordingly and cease requiring the booster, effective immediately.

Thank you!

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This petition had 116 supporters