Since 1996, the scientific community has become aware of 14 reports of yellow fever vaccine (YEL)-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD) cases and four reports of YEL-associated neurotropic disease (YEL-AND) worldwide, changing our understanding of the risks of the vaccine. Based on 722 adverse event reports after YEL submitted to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in 1990-2002, we updated the estimates of the age-adjusted reporting rates of serious adverse events, YEL-AVD and YEL-AND. We found that the reporting rates of serious adverse events were significantly higher among vaccinees aged > or =60 years than among those 19-29 years of age (reporting rate ratio = 5.9, 95% CI 1.6-22.2). Yellow fever is a serious and potentially fatal disease. For elderly travelers, the risk for severe illness and death due to yellow fever infection should be balanced against the risk of a serious adverse event due to YEL.