15 Jul 2019

Nigeria: phase out of yellow card

Clarification from Nigeria and the World Health Organization on introduction of the electronic ‘yellow card’ Nigeria: phase out of yellow card
  • This updates the News item of 5 July 2019

Following the announcement from The Federal Government of Nigeria of the intention to phase out and replace the Yellow Card (yellow fever certificate) with an e-Yellow Card version with effect from 1 July 2019 [1], NaTHNaC sought advice from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Further clarification has now been received as follows:

  • After 1 July 2019, a valid International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) issued outside Nigeria will still be accepted for non-Nigerian residents and non-Nigerian citizens arriving in Nigeria.
  • Nigerian residents and citizens of Nigeria who require proof of yellow fever vaccination must apply for the new e-Yellow Card (for which there is a charge; this is still a paper certificate, but which can be read electronically); the only authorised source of the card is Port Health Services of the Public Health Department in the Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria.
  • Nigerian residents and citizens of Nigeria returning to Nigeria are advised that as of 1 July 2019, an old style ‘Yellow Card,’ previously issued in Nigeria may not be acceptable to Nigerian port authorities at immigration. If you think this applies to you, we advise you to contact the UK Nigerian High Commission for advice. 

Importantly, also as of 1 July 2019, the yellow fever certificate requirement for travellers to Nigeria changed; a yellow fever vaccination certificate is now required for all travellers aged 9 months or over [2].

Where a health professional advises that an individual should not be vaccinated on medical grounds, a medical letter of exemption (MLOE) should be provided which should be taken into consideration by the port/border health authorities in the destination country [3].

Health professionals and travellers from the United Kingdom, are reminded that there is a risk of yellow fever transmission throughout Nigeria. An outbreak of yellow fever, which started in September 2017, is continuing; since the start of the outbreak, cases have been reported from all 36 states. Between January and April 2019, a total of 930 suspected cases were reported in 447 Local Government Areas [4].

Information on vaccine recommendations and certificate requirements are available on the Country Information page: Nigeria.

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