UN agency dispatches 3.5 million doses of yellow fever vaccine to counter outbreak in Brazil


31 March 2017 – In response to the yellow fever outbreak on-going in Brazil, some 3.5 million doses of vaccine from the emergency stockpile were deployed to the country through a United Nations-backed coordination mechanism, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision oversees a continuously replenished emergency stockpile of six million doses of yellow fever vaccine. The ICG includes four agencies: WHO, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF,) the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

The Government of Brazil, with the support of the Pan American Health Organization and WHO, is working to ensure protection of its population and preventing further spread of the yellow fever virus, which is transmitted to humans via mosquitoes.

Brazil is carrying out yellow fever vaccination campaigns in several states, while strengthening surveillance and case management throughout the country since the outbreak began in January 2017. More than 18.8 million doses of vaccine have been distributed.

During 2016 some 30 million doses of yellow fever vaccine from WHO’s emergency vaccine stockpile were deployed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola during the 2016 yellow fever outbreaks in those countries.