Yellow fever

This section provides downloadable documents on the Policy for the Approval of Yellow Fever Vaccinators and Vaccinating Centres, forms to apply for or renew approval as a Yellow Fever vaccinator or vaccinating centre, and a list of currently authorised Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in New Zealand.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes.  It is endemic to 44 countries in tropical areas of Africa and the Americas. Infection with the yellow fever virus causes varying degrees of disease, from mild symptoms to severe illness with bleeding and jaundice.

There are an estimated 200,000 cases of yellow fever worldwide each year. About 15% of people infected with yellow fever progress to a severe form of the illness, and up to half of those will die, as there is no cure for yellow fever.

Travellers to areas considered “at risk” can help limit the spread of the disease to vulnerable local populations by ensuring they are vaccinated where recommended.  See the World Health Organization Yellow Fever Fact Sheet for more information. 

Yellow Fever Vaccine

Vaccination is the most important and effective measure against yellow fever.   The yellow fever vaccine provides effective immunity within 30 days for 99% of people vaccinated and over 600 million doses have been dispensed worldwide since vaccination began in the 1930s.

A single dose confers sustained immunity and life-long protection.  Side-effects are rare and serious adverse events are rarely reported.   The risk is higher for people over 60 years of age and anyone with severe immunodeficiency due to symptomatic HIV/AIDS or other causes, or who have a thymus disorder.

People who are usually excluded from vaccination include:
• infants aged less than 9 months
• pregnant and/or breastfeeding women
• people with severe allergies to egg protein; and
• people with severe immunodeficiency due to symptomatic HIV/AIDS or other causes, or who have a thymus disorder.

In New Zealand, yellow fever vaccine is only available from specifically-authorised yellow fever vaccination centres (see the current list of Authorised Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres, below).

Vaccination and certification requirements when travelling

Countries are able to require proof of vaccination against yellow fever as a condition of entry, at their discretion.  The list of countries that do require vaccination changes on a regular basis and you are advised to seek up to date advice from a travel medicine centre and/or the relevant country embassy(s) well before you travel. 

New Zealand does not currently require proof of vaccination against yellow fever if you are travelling back from an at-risk area, however Australia and other countries commonly visited by New Zealanders may do, so be sure to check the requirements for all countries on your planned itinerary.

A single yellow fever vaccination (regardless of how long ago it was administered) is now considered to confer lifetime immunity starting from 10 days after administration – previously it was considered effective for up to 10 years.  The standard ‘International Health Regulation Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis’ certificate you receive recording the vaccination is therefore now valid for life. 

Approval of Yellow Fever Vaccinators and Vaccination Centres

Approval Policy

Yellow Fever Vaccinator Application forms

In this section

Back to top