U.S. Supply of Yellow Fever Vaccine to Run Out: Limited Supply Until Mid-2018

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Yellow Fever Vaccine Running Out
Photo by NIAID

Yellow Fever Vaccine Running Out

While Yellow Fever is quite rare in most areas of the world, parts of Africa and Central South/America still have severe issues with it. Travelers to those areas are often recommended to get the vaccine. In fact, some countries require proof of the Yellow Fever vaccine if you are coming from infected areas.

Unfortunately the only version of the Yellow Fever Vaccine approved in the United States (YF-Vax) is running out and could be gone as soon as next month. It isn’t expected to return until mid-2018, however they have cobbled together a solution. Select clinics in the U.S. will be offering an alternate Yellow Fever vaccine under an experimental drug program.

Once the YF-Vax vaccine runs out, select clinics will carry a French alternative called Stamaril. Of course this means that the vaccine will be harder to come by and more geographically restricted since far fewer places will administer it. You can still of course get it outside of the country as well if you are on the road.

This isn’t a huge deal, but it is one to keep in mind if you are traveling to affected regions. The CDC release is below.

Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of the only yellow fever vaccine (YF-Vax) licensed in the United States, has announced that YF-Vax will be unavailable from mid-2017 to mid-2018 because of delays in the production process. Sanofi Pasteur applied and received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make another yellow fever vaccine available in the United States under an investigational new drug (IND) program.* Manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur in France, this vaccine, Stamaril, is registered and distributed in more than 70 countries. It is comparable in safety and efficacy to YF-Vax (see the yellow fever vaccine information sheet).

In order to meet the requirements of the IND program, Sanofi Pasteur can provide Stamaril to only a limited number of clinics. Sanofi has identified sites throughout the United States to include in the program so patients can have continued access to yellow fever vaccine.

Once YF-Vax is no longer available, travelers and health care providers will be able to find locations that can administer Stamaril by visiting the yellow fever vaccination clinic search page. For information about which countries require yellow fever vaccination for entry and which countries the CDC recommends yellow fever vaccination, visit the CDC Travelers’ Health website (www.cdc.gov/travel).

For more information, contact Sanofi Pasteur at 1-800-VACCINECall: 1-800-VACCINE (1-800-822-2463Call: 1-800-822-2463).

*Although the name of the FDA program is “investigational new drug,” Stamaril is not investigational or experimental. Stamaril has been used in European and other countries for decades but is not licensed in the United States. IND is the mechanism through which FDA gives approval for Stamaril to be imported.

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  1. Woah. I was just thinking today that for an upcoming trip I needed to dig up my old certificate. DEFINITELY need to make sure it on hand, now!

    • I had one about 10 years ago when I was traveling to regions where there was a risk. I would ask a doctor to see if they recommend getting one based on where you are traveling.


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