Yellow Fever Vaccine - How Does It Work and Why Do Rare Cases of Serious Adverse Events Take Place?

Curr Opin Immunol. 2009 Jun;21(3):308-13. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2009.05.018. Epub 2009 Jun 10.


Yellow fever 17D vaccine is one of the most successful vaccines ever developed and over 540 million doses have been used. Nevertheless there has been very little known about the mechanism of protection induced by the vaccine. The last couple of years have seen important advances made in understanding how the vaccine works involving studies of the innate and adaptive immune responses plus a systems biology approach. Like all vaccines, the 17D vaccine causes rare serious adverse events (SAEs) following immunization. At present, the mechanism(s) of SAEs is(are) poorly understood but our advances in understanding the immune response induced by the vaccine have promise to help elucidate the mechanism of SAEs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Vaccination
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology
  • Yellow Fever / blood
  • Yellow Fever / immunology*
  • Yellow Fever / prevention & control
  • Yellow Fever Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • Yellow Fever Vaccine / adverse effects
  • Yellow Fever Vaccine / immunology*
  • Yellow fever virus / genetics
  • Yellow fever virus / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Viral Vaccines
  • Yellow Fever Vaccine