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Yellow Fever Vaccine and Bee Sting Allergy

I am going on a safari in Tanzania in September 2009.  Two books have suggested that the Yellow Fever vaccine should not be taken by anyone who has a bee allergy.  I checked the CDC site and they do not list this as an issue at all.  I am required to have a certificate in order to enter Tanzania.  

Is there a definitive answer to the question as to whether or not I should get the Yellow Fever Vaccine, if I have a bee allergy?  Or am I just better off to cancel the safari?  Help!  :-)
1 Responses
242588 tn?1224275300
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
First, I suggest you check the publication dates of the 2 books and their listed sources.  They might be anecdotal, rather than evidence-based.  I searched and also could find no statement of adverse reactions to yellow fever immunization, in people with a history of bee allergy.  There are specialists in travel medicine in all large cities.  I suggest that you contact one of these individuals for a second opinion.

You might also want to check with The Royal Society for Tropical Medicine.

Good luck.

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The following is directly from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) web-site.  The precautions listed below are based, for the most part, on a heightened risk of vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease.

Some people should not get Yellow Fever vaccine.

Persons who have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to eggs, chicken, gelatin or to a previous yellow fever vaccine.

Infants younger than 9 months of age. For infants 6 to 8 months of age who cannot avoid travel to a yellow fever area, discuss vaccination with their doctor. Under no circumstances should infants younger than 6 months of age be vaccinated.

Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid or postpone travel to a yellow fever area. If travel cannot be avoided, discuss vaccination with your doctor.

Check with your doctor before getting yellow fever vaccine if you:
• Have a history of allergy to eggs, chicken, or gelatin
• Have HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system
• Have been under treatment for 2 weeks or longer with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids
• Have any kind of cancer
• Are taking cancer treatment with X-rays or drugs
• Your thymus gland has been removed, or if you have a history of problems with your thymus, such as myasthenia gravis, DiGeorge syndrome, or thymoma.

If you are 65 or older, discuss with your physician the risks and benefits of vaccination in the context of your risk for exposure to yellow fever virus based on your destination.

If you cannot get the vaccine because of a medical reason and proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for your travel, your doctor can give you a waiver letter. When planning to use a waiver letter, you should also obtain specific advice from the embassy of the country or countries you plan to visit.

If you cannot get the vaccine, discuss with your doctor other ways to prevent yellow fever.

This information was taken directly from the VIS
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