- Do I need yellow fever vaccination?
It is strongly recommended that all travellers be vaccinated for yellow fever if travelling to or from a yellow fever declared country.
People who are one year of age or older will be asked to provide an international vaccination certificate if, within six days before arriving in Australia, they have stayed overnight or longer in a yellow fever declared country (see below). People unable to provide a certificate will still be able to enter Australia.
2. Changes to Yellow Fever regulations
The Australian Government has adopted the World Health Organisation amendment to the International Health Regulations (2005), such that the period of protection afforded by yellow fever vaccination, and the terms of validity of the certificate, has changed from 10 years to the duration of the life of the person vaccinated. The change took effect on 16 June 2016 and coincided with the commencement of the new Biosecurity Act 2015. This change is based on data demonstrating, for the majority of recipients, a single dose of yellow fever vaccine results in life-long immunity.
3. Will I be allowed to enter Australia, if I do not have a yellow fever vaccination certificate?
If you are arriving in Australia from a yellow fever declared country but do not hold a vaccination certificate you will still be permitted to enter Australia without one. On arrival in Australia, Department of Agriculture, Biosecurity officers will reinforce the seriousness of the disease to you and provide you with a Yellow Fever Action Card. The card provides instructions on what you should do if you develop any symptoms of yellow fever in the six-day period following your departure from a yellow fever declared country.
As part of your travel arrangements it is strongly recommended that you check the yellow fever entry requirements for all the countries you intend entering, including those in which you will transit by contacting their foreign missions in Australia.
The quarantine requirements for yellow fever vaccination differ markedly from country to country depending upon their relative risk exposure to the disease. If you have travelled through a yellow fever declared country, and you do not have a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate, you risk being refused entry into many countries or may be required to be vaccinated upon arrival.
Travellers should seek medical advice on yellow fever vaccination for their individual medical circumstances, particularly about the suitability of yellow fever vaccine for infants, pregnant women and those who are immuno-compromised.
If your health care practitioner is of the opinion that vaccination is contraindicated on medical grounds, they should supply you with a signed letter detailing the reasons why you should not be vaccinated. You should contact the embassy of the country(ies) to which you are travelling to ascertain if the letter needs to be in another language in addition to English.