19 May 2016

Changes to Yellow fever certificates

World Health Organization (WHO) have produced some information on the pending changes to the International Health Regulations Changes to Yellow fever certificates

On 11 July 2016, changes to International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) regarding the validity of the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) for Yellow fever (YF) vaccine are expected to come in to force [1]. According to World Health Organization (WHO), from 11 July 2016:

  •  The period of validity of the ICVP will change from 10 years to the duration of the life of the person vaccinated; this will apply to all ICVP for yellow fever vaccination, including certificates already issued, and new or duplicate certificates [1].
  • A valid ICVP, presented by arriving travellers, cannot be rejected on the grounds that more than ten years have passed since the date vaccination became effective as stated on the certificate [2]; and that boosters or revaccination cannot be required [1, 2].

In the interim, WHO have stated the following regarding the period of validity of the ICVP:

“Until 10 July 2016, the IHR (2005) continue to provide that the period of validity of these certificates of vaccination against yellow fever is ten years from the date that the vaccination is effective”[2].

Please refer to WHO Q&A [1] for additional information, including how to write the ICVP from 11 July 2016.

Advice for travellers

It is essential to know whether there is a risk of YF in the country you are visiting, and whether an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP – a yellow fever certificate) is required.  This is particularly important during this period of change to International Health Regulations.

Recommendations for YF vaccination for personal protection plus information on certificate requirements and yellow fever outbreaks (where available) can be found on Country Information Pages.

Yellow fever vaccination is available in designated centres (see resources below).

Advice for health professionals

Health professionals should check for updates routinely.  This is particularly important during periods of increased yellow fever outbreak activity and when changes to International Health Regulations are expected.

We will continue to look out for official notification of changes to country certificate requirements and update our Country Information pages accordingly. Note that the World Health Organization ‘Country list’ published 2015 and ‘Annex 1’ published Feb 2016 may not yet reflect some of this information.


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