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Problem Solved: Yellow Fever Vaccines

National Geographic Traveler editor at large Christopher Elliott is the magazine’s consumer advocate and ombudsman. Over the past 15 years he has helped countless readers fix their trips.

Here’s his latest advice:

Reader Question: Everyone’s talking about Ebola right now, but I’ve heard there’s a yellow fever vaccine shortage. I’m planning a trip to Brazil. What do I need to know?

My Answer: Last year, Sanofi-Pasteur, the sole manufacturer of the vaccine in the United States, experienced some shortages in its supply chain.

“The shortage has improved markedly,” says Carrie Getsinger, director of client services at Passport Health, though you may still have trouble finding the vaccine. But you may not even need it.

Yellow fever is a risk in certain parts of Brazil, but not in cities such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. And vaccination is not required for entry. You can find an updated list of risk areas at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Think about your vaccinations well in advance of your trip; the yellow fever vaccine takes 30 days to provide maximum protection against the disease.

Christopher Elliott is Traveler magazine’s consumer advocate and pens the “Problem Solved” column for the magazine (this exchange appeared in the October 2014 issue). Follow Christopher’s story on Twitter @elliottdotorg.

Do you have a burning travel question? Share it with us in the comments section below for a chance to appear in Traveler magazine.

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