CDC and FDA Plan for Expected Yellow Fever Vaccine Depletion

The US Food and Drug administration has authorized the use of an international yellow fever vaccine (Stamaril) in the United States, due to an expected depletion of the US-licensed yellow fever vaccine (YF-VAX) in mid-2017, according to the CDC.

The CDC attributed the forecasted shortage of YF-VAX to manufacturing problems which began in November 2015.

The safety and efficacy of the alternative yellow fever vaccine is comparable to the US-licensed vaccine, and uses the same virus substrain as YF-VAX. A systematic, tiered process has been developed to select clinics to receive the alternative vaccine, in order to ensure accessibility to all US residents, while also guaranteeing that clinic personnel could be adequately trained beforehand.

“Although the systematic site selection process for the distribution of Stamaril took into account site volume (giving preference to larger sites) and adequate geographic reach, accessibility difficulties for some international travelers might occur, because of the decrease in the number of clinics nationwide that provide yellow fever vaccination from 4000 to 250,” the CDC wrote.

“Providers need to be aware that there is a yellow fever vaccine shortage and there is a plan for providing safe vaccine at a limited number of clinics until the supply is replenished.”

The CDC currently recommends yellow fever vaccination for all individuals aged 9 months or older who travel to high-risk areas in South America and Africa.

—Michael Potts


Gershman MD, Angelo KM, Ritchey J, et al. Addressing a yellow fever vaccine shortage — United States, 2016–2017 [published online April 28, 2017]. MMWR. doi: