North American shortage of Yellow fever vaccine prompts changes in Saskatchewan
Due to a shortage of Yellow Fever vaccine across North America, Saskatchewan clinics will be providing partial doses of the vaccine to residents travelling to affected areas.
Full doses will be made available only if residents are travelling to a country where there is a current outbreak of Yellow Fever; they will be living for more than a year in a country where the risk of contracting the disease is high or they are travelling to a country where they might be at high risk and they require an international Certificate of Vaccination or prophylaxis for entry and/or visa requirements.
The criteria is subject to change at any time depending on availability of the vaccine.
A partial dose of the vaccine will be provided to those who do not meet the criteria for a full dose.
When a vial of Yellow Fever vaccine has been opened, it must be used within an hour.
Therefore, people requiring a partial dose might have to make two visits to their travel clinic. On the first visit, they will receive a travel health assessment and the second to receive the vaccine. This will help ensure no part of the vaccine is wasted.
In Saskatchewan, Yellow Fever vaccine is only available through travel clinics in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert.
Some clinics in Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia have already moved to offering partial doses of Yellow Fever vaccine to maximize the supply.
The vaccine shortage could extend until 2018.
Anyone who has received the Yellow Fever vaccine in the past is considered protected for life. It is important to find and keep the vaccination documents for border proof.
The risk of transmission of Yellow Fever does not necessarily occur throughout a country. This is important to consider when planning travel to countries, such as Brazil, where the risk of the disease is present.