Yellow Fever vaccine can cure COVID-19?

Claim: If you are vaccinated against Yellow Fever you cannot contract Coronavirus (COVID19).

A message circulating on WhatsApp claimed that a person vaccinated against Yellow Fever is immune from Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Verdict: False

Medical expert and Clinical director for Mpilo Central Hospital, Dr Solwayo Ngwenya, dismissed the claim saying that a cure for the novel virus has not been found.

“Coronavirus is a new virus which nobody had ever been in contact with since 2019. There are no vaccines against it which have ever been approved. To say the Yellow Fever vaccine can protect people against it is totally incorrect,”

said Dr Ngwenya.

“When one contracts the virus, the body has to learn its new enemy and device ways of fighting it. If your immune system is strong enough you can survive it. However, to say Yellow Fever vaccine can protect people is not correct.”

Background: According to the World Health Organisation (WHO)

Yellow Fever (YF) is a mosquito-borne viral disease of humans and other primates, and is currently endemic in over 43 countries in the tropical regions of Africa and The Americas.Infection with the YF virus can be asymptomatic or cause a wide spectrum of disease, from mild symptoms to severe illness with bleeding, jaundice and, ultimately, death. Transmission is complex with different characteristics in different endemic areas.

Yellow fever vaccination is carried out for 3 reasons: to protect populations living in areas subject to endemic and epidemic disease; to protect travellers visiting these areas; and to prevent international spread by minimizing the risk of importation of the virus by viraemic travellers.

A single dose of YF vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained life-long protective immunity against YF disease. In view of the ongoing transmission of YF virus, and the proven efficacy and safety of YF vaccination, WHO recommends that all endemic countries should introduce YF vaccine into their routine immunization programmes.

Vaccine should be offered to all unvaccinated travellers aged 9 months, travelling to and from at-risk areas, unless they belong to the group of individuals for whom YF vaccination is contraindicated.

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