WHO issues updated positon paper on yellow fever vaccine

23 June 2017

In a revised yellow fever (YF) vaccine position paper published in today’s edition of the Weekly Epidemiological Record, WHO provided updated guidance on the use of fractional dose YF vaccination in the context of YF vaccine supply shortages.


Recent outbreaks have highlighted the critical importance of strong routine YF immunization programmes and mass vaccination campaigns in line with the WHO Eliminate Yellow Fever Epidemics (EYE) Strategy for the prevention of YF outbreaks.

A fractional YF vaccine dose can be used as part of an emergency response to an outbreak if there is a shortage of full-dose YF vaccine that exceeds the capacity of the global stockpile. This is not intended to serve as a longer-term strategy or to replace established routine immunization practices.

Administration of fractional dose YF vaccine constitutes an off-label use of the vaccine. Preference should be given to YF vaccine products for which immunogenicity and safety data are available on a fractional dose administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly.

As soon as the YF vaccine supply situation can meet the immediate need, the use of fractional dose YF vaccination should be replaced by standard full-dose YF vaccination.

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