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Dubai: Residents travelling to tropical African and South American countries have been hit by a shortage of yellow fever vaccine in Dubai in the last few days.

Enquiries with the Travel Clinic at Dubai Health Authority (DHA) confirmed that the vaccine has not been available for some time. Sources said the shortage is in keeping with a worldwide crunch following limited supplies by the vaccine’s sole manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Sanofi Pasteur has informed them that the supply of the vaccine YF-Vax is currently limited. “As a result, the manufacturer has placed limits on orders of the single dose and five-dose vials of YF-Vax. These ordering limits are expected to be in place until April 2014.” Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease which sets in after an incubation period of three to six days.

Residents travelling to countries where the vaccine is necessary said they are at loss on what to do. One resident planning to travel to Kenya said she had tried several clinics in Dubai, but to no avail. “I am told it is mandatory to get this shot for travel to some countries. Now I don’t know what to do.”

Another resident said: “The problem is you won’t be allowed into countries if you’ve visited a country with yellow fever earlier and haven’t been vaccinated.”