Neurotropic and viscerotropic serious adverse events associated with these vaccines occur rarely, but YF 17D vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD) is notable for its lethality. There appear to be two distinct patterns of risk for YEL-AVD: the first in younger persons, particularly women, with defects in innate immunity, in whom the case-fatality rate is higher; and the second in elderly persons, particularly men with age-related immune senescence and a lower case-fatality rate. From 1990 to the present, the number of cases (n = 31) and deaths (n = 12) from YEL-AVD in travelers has exceeded the reports of YF (n = 6) acquired by natural infection, raising the question whether the risk of vaccination exceeds the benefit in travelers. To provide some guidance on this point, the rate of vaccine-related injury is compared with the rate of naturally acquired disease in a new analysis that estimates the immunologically susceptible denominator population in YF endemic and epidemic areas. For many years, the risk of vaccine-related illness and death was similar to the risk of illness and death from natural infection with YF in South America.
Source: Expert Rev Vaccines. 2012 Apr;11(4):427-48. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22551029