GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is piecing together a plan as the U.S. supply of yellow fever vaccine runs out.
The CDC said a manufacturing issue last year at Sanofi Pasteur in France affected production of YF-VAX, which is the only yellow fever vaccine licensed for use in the United States. The CDC expects the vaccine will be gone by the middle of this year.
Because of the shortage, the CDC says it collaborated with Sanofi Pasteur to get a limited amount of a second yellow fever vaccine, Stamaril. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration temporarily approved Stamaril until production of YF-VAX resumes at a new facility next year.
However, the Stamaril vaccine will only be available at approximately 250 of the 4,000 clinics that normally provide yellow fever vaccines. The CDC said Stamaril will go to clinics that normally have the highest number of international travelers to vaccinate.
When Stamaril becomes available, the CDC will release a list of locations where you can get it.
Of the 80 sites in Michigan that may currently have access to some yellow fever vaccine, 14 are in West Michigan, including:
- Calhoun County Public Health Department, Battle Creek
- Promed Family Practice Travel Clinic, Portage
- Portage Pharmacy, Portage
- Kalamazoo College Health Center, Kalamazoo
- Sindecuse Health Center, Kalamazoo
- Amway, Ada
- The Travel Doctor, Grandville
- GVSU Family Health Center, Grand Rapids
- Kent County Health Department, Grand Rapids
- Passport Health of Michigan, Grand Rapids
- Spectrum Health Travel Medicine Services, Grand Rapids
- Occupational Medicine Service, Big Rapids
- Muskegon County Health Department, Muskegon
- Ottawa County Health Department, Holland
The Kent County Health Department says it has some vaccine, but not a lot. Officials urge people planning to go to a country where a yellow fever vaccination is recommended or required to call as early as possible to make sure they can be immunized in time.
Yellow fever is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa, according to the CDC. The virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms range from feverishness to severe liver disease with bleeding.
**Correction: A previous version of this article stated 80 sites in Michigan had access to Stamaril. Those clinics actually currently have access to the other yellow fever vaccine, YF-VAX. Stamaril is not yet available anywhere in Michigan.