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Yellow Fever Vaccine

  • 22 Jan 2019
  • 2 min read

Yellow Fever Vaccine

  • Recently a controversy over the safety of yellow fever vaccine has come up.
  • Yellow fever, a fatal disease, spreads through mosquitoes. It is often associated with jaundice, hence the name yellow.
  • It is usually compulsory to get vaccinated before traveling to any of the yellow fever-endemic countries in parts of Africa, and Central and South America.
  • Yellow fever vaccine which is known as 17D and according to the World Health Organization (WHO) also it is safe and affordable. However, there are reports of multisystem organ failure following vaccination.
  • Due to such reports, vaccine hesitancy is a growing problem the world over.

Working of a Vaccine

  • Many vaccines introduce a pathogen inside the body. For example, the yellow fever vaccine is a live, weakened yellow fever virus. Because it is live, the body responds to it the same way as in a full-blown infection.
  • This ensures that the body knows the vulnerabilities of that virus for the rest of the person’s life.
  • Thus, whenever an invasion happens, blood cells that retain the memory of that virus immediately work towards defeating the nascent invasion much before it can go on to become a full-blown infection.

Vaccine Hesitancy in India

  • Vaccine hesitancy refers to delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite the availability of vaccination services.
  • Recently Delhi High Court underlined the importance of parental consent in vaccines given to children in school.
  • The Health Ministry has commissioned a study on vaccine hesitancy, to be conducted by its Immunisation Technical Support Unit in association with GAVI, an international organization supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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