We conducted a systematic review and a meta-analysis to assess the risk of serious adverse events in the elderly after yellow fever vaccination compared to the non-elderly population. We searched multiple databases and grey literature, and we selected research without language and publication date restrictions. Studies were analyzed in a descriptive way and meta-analyzed and expressed in terms of prevalence ratio and risk ratio with a 95% confidence interval, depending on the degree of heterogeneity found. A total of 18 studies were included and 11 were meta-analyzed. The results obtained through the meta-analysis showed a risk of serious adverse events after yellow fever vaccination three times higher for the elderly when compared to the non-elderly population and five times higher for persons > 70 years. In relation to adverse event types, viscerotropic disease associated with the yellow fever vaccine had a risk that was six times higher when compared to the population < 60 years. The evidence found supports that the vaccine indication in individuals > 60 years of age should be based on a careful analysis of individual benefit-risk assessments. The results found suggest a higher risk of events for individuals > 70 years, especially for viscerotropic and neurotropic disease associated with YFV contraindicating the use of the YFV in this age group.

  • Adults
  • Older adults
  • Yellow fever
  • Safety