Yellow Fever Vaccine

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 7/13/2009 1:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Has anyone here been on immunosuppressants and taken the Yellow Fever vaccine? I may need to travel to Africa for work (and maybe for fun too) in the next two years and I've gotten conflicting reports on what the vaccine can do - everything from nothing to it can be lethal (quite the range there!). I've heard it's bad to take when you're on immunosuppressants (like 6_MP) but what if you went off those for a specific time period before getting it? I'll be checking with my GI too but wanted to hear directly if anyone has gotten it or not and what happened.
**32 year old female; Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2001; diagnosis changed to Crohn's disease in 2009 (but still only impacts colon)
**Asacol (4800 mg daily), 6-MP (100 mg daily), Prednisone (8 mg daily...for a few more weeks), Flagyl (250 mg every other day), Nexium (40 mg daily)
**Thankfully only two major flare-ups...2001 and 2009. Hoping to have another 8 years in between the next one (sadly, I do know there will be a next one).
**GOAL of one day being immunosuppressant free...still working on my doctor on this one but I am a world traveler who desperately wants to go to Africa one day!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 7/13/2009 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I was given the Yellow Fever shots while in the USAF 20 years ago without anything but the regular side effects, like most people (soreness, lethargy) but a good friend of mine spent about a week in the hospital after his first shot with uncontrollable vomiting and sickness. It was terrible. But most people do fine!

It would probably be best if you are off any immunosuppressants for a good long time (maybe 4-6 mos.) before you get those shots, and maybe make sure your liver and kidney function tests are normal first, too.

Africa, how exciting! Best of luck to you!
Angela, age 43
dx Ulcerative Proctitis 2008 after colonoscopy
dx Crohn's 2009 after small capsule endoscopy
Symptoms on and off for more than 10 years
Currently taking no medications
Gluten-free, dairy-free, low sugar diet
VSL/probiotics, MorEPA, B Vitamins, Folic acid, Vit C, Vit D, Turmeric, Ginger, Selenium, Mushroom

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7056
   Posted 7/13/2009 11:56 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband was in the military and was vaccinated for yellow fever twice. I was given a waiver because I was breast feeding when it was time to go to our destination. His first vaccination caused him no problems. The second one laid him up for 5 days with flu-like symtpoms and a unrelenting fever.

I think talking to your GI is a must. However, while GIs are wonderful gut doctors, not all are well-rounded in all the fields. I would be inclined to get a second opinion IF the GI says there is no problem taking it while on 6MP. I would just want to make absolutely certain. [Of course I am the person that has odd reactions to even common meds - Macrodantin, an antibiotic for bladder infections, kept me in the hospital for 19 days one time]
Moderator Crohn's Disease  & Osteoarthritis Forums
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, asthma, severe allergy and a host of other medical problems.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 7/14/2009 7:50 AM (GMT -6)   
This is what the CDC protocol on yellow fever vaccination says under "contraindications":

Altered immune states. Infection with yellow fever vaccine virus poses a theoretical risk of encephalitis to patients with immunosuppression in association with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or other manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, leukemia, lymphoma, generalized malignancy, or to those whose immunologic responses are suppressed by corticosteroids, alkylating drugs, antimetabolites, or radiation. Such patients should not be vaccinated. If travel to a yellow fever-infected zone is necessary, patients should be advised of the risk, instructed in methods for avoiding vector mosquitoes, and supplied with vaccination waiver letters by their physicians. Low-dose (10 mg prednisone or equivalent) or short-term (less than 2 weeks) corticosteroid therapy or intra-articular, bursal, or tendon injections with corticosteroids should not be immunosuppressive and constitute no increased hazard to recipients of yellow fever vaccine. Persons who have had previously diagnosed asymptomatic HIV infections and who cannot avoid potential exposure to yellow fever virus should be offered the choice of vaccination. Vaccinees should be monitored for possible adverse effects. Since the vaccination of such persons may be less effective than that for non-HIV-infected persons, their neutralizing antibody response to vaccination may be desired before travel. For such determinations, the appropriate state health department or CDC ((303) 221-6400) may be contacted. Family members of immunosuppressed persons, who themselves have no contraindications, may receive yellow fever vaccine.

"antimetabolites" would cover the 6mp/imuran spectrum. Hence it sounds like they advise against it.


New Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/3/2014 1:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, i want information about yellow fever vaccine .how to take that vaccine any who certificate needed for international travelling

Post Edited (padala) : 12/5/2014 9:28:57 AM (GMT-7)

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