The Federal Government has announced its plan to phase out completely, all old versions of Yellow Card and replace with a new e-Yellow Card with effect from Monday, July 1.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, said the introduction of the new e-Yellow Card, otherwise known as International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP), was to address the issue of fake Yellow Cards that has hitherto constituted a source of national embarrassment.
He noted that the new card has enhanced security features that could be verified anywhere in the world by scanning the bar code or checking the card number on the Yellow Card portal.
Abdullahi said with effect from July 1, the new e-Yellow Card would be the only valid documented proof of vaccination against yellow fever.
Highlighting the importance of the yellow fever vaccine for which the Yellow Card is documented, the Permanent Secretary said yellow fever, a viral haemorrhagic fever caused by a virus transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, is a potentially fatal illness, but vaccine preventable.
Abdullahi noted that some countries, including Nigeria, were endemic for yellow fever and travellers to affected (endemic) countries were at risk of exposure to infection by the yellow fever virus; hence the mandatory vaccination against the disease.
To this end, he disclosed that according to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendation, all international travellers, nine months of age and above visiting Nigeria must be vaccinated against yellow fever, adding that additional measures have been adopted at points of entry for the prevention and control of yellow fever, which involves mandatory requirement of evidence of vaccination against the disease on arrival in Nigeria.
He further explained that some countries also require evidence of vaccination against yellow fever as a condition for entry, stressing that from July 1, travellers arriving Nigeria without proof of yellow fever vaccination would be vaccinated at points of entry and issued the card, after payment of the charge.
The permanent secretary enjoined the travelling public to cooperate with the ministry through Port Health Services Division to prevent and control cross-border transmission of yellow fever by complying with laid down measures at points of entry and obtaining their e-Yellow Cards from the division, noting: “This makes us all a part of the global coalition/movement to eliminate yellow fever epidemics by 2026.”