An emergency deal is reportedly underway in order for U.S. health authorities to procure Stamaril, a yellow fever vaccine which is not currently licensed in America but is desperately needed in order to ensure citizens can receive protection against the viral infection, as the nation’s supply is expected to run out in the next few months. A request for emergency importation has been put through, and until it is approved Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), officials are warning would-be travelers to think carefully before vacationing in areas where the disease is prominent.
According to NPR, a statement was given by CDC spokesperson Tom Skinner, in which he urged those intending on going abroad to “plan ahead” and take into consideration the seriousness of the matter before proceeding with previously booked itineraries. The yellow fever vaccine, he continues, may well be impossible to get before they set off and if this proves to be the case these travelers should without a doubt postpone their trip.
The CDC announced the upcoming vaccination shortage on Friday, April 28, via their official website in their weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report. The alternative form of treatment, reveals WMC Action News 5, is already licensed in Europe but not in the U.S. as of this time. Even if the emergency yellow fever vaccine gets the green light for importation, however, CDC officials are making it known that there will only be a limited number of doses available, to be administered at a select few clinics. As such, it is of the utmost importance that vacationers truly consider their travel plans thoroughly should they be traveling to areas in which a yellow fever vaccine is necessary, namely South America and sub-Saharan Africa. Some cases have also been reported in the Caribbean.
The exact amount of clinics which would administer the jab, reports Voice of America, is 250. This is undeniably an extreme drop from the number of locations at which travelers could previously seek treatment before the shortage, which was said to be around 4,000.
Medical professionals are concerned regarding the potential outspread of yellow fever vaccine, which last year reached Angola and the DRC, or Democratic Republic of the Congo. As a result, 30 million people received the shot. Because of this, the global supply was severely diminished and forced the World Health Organization to provide only fractional doses per person.
In recent months, yellow fever has struck residents and travelers in Brazil, and the CDC feels it could be heading to the U.S. given the high number of Americans who vacation in the country. There is not enough vaccine for all those in Brazil who need it, says National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the creation of more will take a considerable amount of time.
By Lorelai Zelmerlow
Photo Courtesy WHO