Rio de Janeiro announces mass yellow fever vaccination

A woman receiving the yellow fever vaccine at a public health post in Caratinga, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, on Jan 13, 2017.
A woman receiving the yellow fever vaccine at a public health post in Caratinga, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, on Jan 13, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Rio de Janeiro said on Saturday (March 11) it plans to vaccinate the state's entire population against yellow fever in response to an outbreak that has killed at least 113 people around Brazil.

Although Rio has not registered any cases, it is close to where the disease has taken hold in the neighbouring states of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Sao Paulo.

The aim is "to expand the strategy of vaccination as a preventative measure", the Rio health department said in a statement.

The state government said it's aiming to vaccinate the whole population by the end of the year. A total of 12 million doses will be required, with three million already ordered, the statement said.

Brazil's health ministry says that yellow fever, which is carried by mosquitoes, has been confirmed in 352 cases, with another 915 under investigation in an unusually severe outbreak.

So far 113 deaths have been confirmed from the disease, with 104 more under investigation.