Yellow Fever Vaccine: Is It Worth the Risk?

By Paul Louis, Vaxxter Contributor

Yellow fever (YF) is an infectious disease spread by mosquitoes in tropical and semi-tropical areas near dense rain forests. The yellow refers to jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes that accompanies a very high fever. YF is caused by a flavivirus endemic in the tropical areas of 31 African and ten Latin American countries.

The incubation period after a mosquito bite is 3–6 days, and then the patient experiences headaches, fever, muscle and joint aching, poor appetite, and vomiting. At that point, there may be a few days of improvement or the patient turns the corner and recovers. However, those who don’t recover progress to the Intoxication Stage, with extremely high fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and even a lowered state of consciousness. In severe cases, s/he can develop multiorgan failure which includes hypotension, capillary fragility, progressive hepatitis, and renal failure. Mortality from a severe YF infection, referred to as viscerotropic disease, has been reported to be as high as 20% in Africa and as high as 60% in Latin America. (Source)

What’s interesting about the description of a severe reaction to a yellow fever infection is that the same deadly reaction can occur as a side effect of the YF vaccine, referred to a “yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD).

Risks are Well Known Despite General Denial

Adverse events from yellow fever vaccines are denied by manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, and by governmental health agencies. Yet adverse events have been well documented, with many defined as serious, debilitating, and even sometimes deadly. In fact, an article in the October 2014 issue of VACCINE states it clearly:

“Although previously considered to be one the safest of the live virus vaccines, reports published since 2001 indicate that the live yellow fever virus vaccine can cause a severe, often fatal, multisystemic illness, yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD), that resembles the disease it was designed to prevent.”

In particular, males over 60 are at higher risk of serious side effects from the vaccine than they are from the infection itself. Amazingly, a more recent article in VACCINE spells that out in detail:

“…Strategies for vaccination have also become complex as the number of cases of yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD) in travelers has exceeded the number of cases of yellow fever. In South America, during periods of low virus activity, the risk to travelers of serious adverse events from the vaccine, particularly males over the age of 60, may be similar to that of developing yellow fever.”  (Source)

Dramatic Cases of Yellow Fever Vaccine Adverse Reactions

Viscerotropic disease (VTD) is defined as acute multiple organ system dysfunction that occurs following vaccination. The severity of VTD ranges from relatively mild multisystem disease to severe multiple organ system failure and death. To date, VTD has been reported only in association with YF vaccine and has been thus referred to as YF vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD).There is no treatment and it has a 60% fatality rate, with the median time from onset to death about 10 days. The condition is believed to result from widespread dissemination and replication of live attenuated 17D YF vaccine virus.

Live viral vaccines contain viruses that have reduced virulence, referred to as attenuated. Attenuated viruses were originally developed through trial and error. The method has been defined as, “haphazard, with no way of controlling the degree of attenuation or the number of attenuating mutations or preventing evolutionary reversion.” Despite being used to create many vaccines, this method often fails and “produces unstable viral attenuations that quickly evolved back to high virulence.” This can be assumed to be the case with YF viruses within the YF vaccine. (Source)

Sadly, there are many reports of deaths after YF vaccination, including a recent death of a high-profile British physician and cancer research pioneer Martin Gore, MD, age 67. He died of viscerotropic disease on January 10, 2019, just hours after receiving a routine yellow fever vaccination. (Source)

Similarly, in 2015, an Oregon hospital reported an unusual case of a woman who had died shortly after admission. Six days earlier, she had received a single dose of yellow fever vaccine and typhoid vaccine before planned travel to South America. Her autopsy report discovered:

“Immunohistochemical staining indicated yellow fever virus antigen in tissue samples from various organs…evidence of yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD), a serious adverse reaction resulting from the uncontrolled replication of vaccine virus and characterized by multisystem organ dysfunction; 60% of reported cases are fatal.” (Source)

Another yellow vaccine victim was Malcolm Brabant, a 60-year old BBC correspondent who has reported incidents of human and natural destruction worldwide. While he and his wife Trine Villemann were living in Greece, Malcolm was required to get a yellow fever vaccine before departing for business in Africa’s Ivory Coast in 2011. His immediate reaction was an extremely high fever and uncontrollable violent shaking. Subsequently, a progressive madness began; he descended into a severe psychosis, requiring institutionalization and electroshock treatments. Over the next two years, he slowly recovered. He wrote a book about his experience and produced an award-winning documentary, both titled Malcolm is a Little Unwell.

Malcolm’s wife, journalist Trine Vinemann, began directly questioning Sanofi Pasteur, seeking answers to how their product could have caused such a horrific and long-lasting side effect. Sanofi Pasteur reluctantly admitted there had been 10 incidents from the yellow fever vaccine similar to what Malcolm had experienced. This turned out to be a lie.

Vinemann later met a Sanofi whistleblower who told her there have been hundreds of reports with serious side effects that the company had engaged in “sometimes illegal activities” to keep hidden.

In an article published by, “Descent into Madness” Vinemann describes her battle for truth and quotes Dr. Thomas Monath, a leading expert on the yellow fever vaccine as saying,

“This vaccine was considered one of the safest vaccines ever developed. And there were no real concerns about safety. That has now changed in the last decade and we now recognize that there are some really severe and significant, serious adverse events.”

Del Bigtree interviewed Trine Vinemann on The HighWire. The interview begins at the 50-minute mark of this video.

Other Options for Yellow Fever Protection

Military members and government officials are required to receive the yellow fever live attenuated vaccination when they are assigned to regions said to be endemic with the pathogen. Non-compliance can result in a military court-martial followed by dishonorable discharge or losing one’s government career.

There are only a few regions in the world where a certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required, not simply recommended. As a traveler, you can avoid the vaccine and exercise other options.

Vaccines are considered effective if they merely produce an antibody reaction. Immunity (protection) is not guaranteed. Despite industry and media claims, vaccines are not proven safe, and this is especially true for the yellow fever vaccine. In fact, there is a long list of contraindications for the yellow fever vaccine. I’ve often wondered why at 59 1/2 years of age, the vaccine is recommended, but at 60 years, it is not. Isn’t this delineation arbitrary?

The most important thing you can do as a traveler is mosquito precautions. The CDC offers many good suggestions for avoiding mosquitos, but there are quite a few options available for non-DEET, non-toxic insect repellants. Mosquitoes can bite during the day and night, live indoors and outdoors, and search for warm places as temperatures begin to drop so mosquito protection when traveling to tropical areas is important for a long list of reasons. Besides yellow fever, mosquitos can carry the following viruses in endemic areas: West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis, dengue, Zika, and chikungunya.

There are homeopathic remedies for yellow fever as well as natural treatments that mainstream medicine does not know about. But it’s wise to have a homeopathic practitioner or naturopathic doctor in your corner for those treatments.


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Paul Louis is an independent health journalist who understands the moniker “Medical Mafia” is more appropriate for Big Pharma and modern medicine than most realize.

Photo by skeeze (Pixabay)

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