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Booster Shot For Yellow Fever Unnecessary, WHO Announces

“One yellow fever shot confers lifetime protection and the customary ‘booster shot’ given at 10 years is no longer necessary, the [WHO] announced Friday,” the New York Times reports (McNeil, 5/17). “The Geneva-based body says only 12 known cases of yellow fever after vaccination have ever been identified,” the Associated Press/Washington Post writes, noting, “Some 600 million doses have been dispensed since yellow fever vaccination began in the 1930s.” The AP notes, “There are an estimated 200,000 cases of yellow fever and up to 15,000 deaths worldwide each year” (5/17). “WHO Senior Health Adviser Philippe Duclos told a press conference that with this recommendation, the vaccine available can better be targeted where it is most needed and help increase the protection of the population versus revaccinating somebody who has already been protected,” Xinhua states (5/17). In a separate article, Xinhua notes the WHO “said on Friday that 30 countries in Africa with a total population of 508 million are considered to be at different levels of risk for yellow fever.” The news agency discusses Kenya’s launch of the Yellow Fever Risk Assessment Survey (5/17).