Journal of Travel Medicine
Volume 24, Issue 1, July 2016
Pre-travel advice, attitudes and hepatitis A and B vaccination rates among travellers from seven countries
Anita E. Heywood, Hans Nothdurft, Dominique Tessier, Melissa Moodley, Lars Rombo, Cinzia Marano, Laurence De Moerlooze J Travel Med (2016) 24 (1): taw069 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jtm/taw069 First published online: 13 October 2016 (8 pages)
Background: Knowledge about the travel-associated risks of hepatitis A and B, and the extent of pre-travel health-advice being sought may vary between countries.
Methods: An online survey was undertaken to assess the awareness, advice-seeking behaviour, rates of vaccination against hepatitis A and B and adherence rates in Australia, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the UK and Canada between August and October 2014. Individuals aged 18–65 years were screened for eligibility based on: travel to hepatitis A and B endemic countries within the past 3 years, awareness of hepatitis A, and/or combined hepatitis A&B vaccines; awareness of their self-reported vaccination status and if vaccinated, vaccination within the last 3 years. Awareness and receipt of the vaccines, sources of advice, reasons for non-vaccination, adherence to recommended doses and the value of immunization reminders were analysed.
Results: Of 27 386 screened travellers, 19 817 (72%) were aware of monovalent hepatitis A or combined A&B vaccines. Of these 13 857 (70%) had sought advice from a healthcare provider (HCP) regarding combined hepatitis A&B or monovalent hepatitis A vaccination, and 9328 (67%) were vaccinated. Of 5225 individuals eligible for the main survey (recently vaccinated = 3576; unvaccinated = 1649), 27% (841/3111) and 37% (174/465) of vaccinated travellers had adhered to the 3-dose combined hepatitis A&B or 2-dose monovalent hepatitis A vaccination schedules, respectively. Of travellers partially vaccinated against combined hepatitis A&B or hepatitis A, 84% and 61%, respectively, believed that they had received the recommended number of doses.
Conclusions: HCPs remain the main source of pre-travel health advice. The majority of travellers who received monovalent hepatitis A or combined hepatitis A&B vaccines did not complete the recommended course. These findings highlight the need for further training of HCPs and the provision of reminder services to improve traveller awareness and adherence to vaccination schedules
Refusal of recommended travel-related vaccines among U.S. international travellers in Global TravEpiNet
Sara M. Lammert, Sowmya R. Rao, Emily S. Jentes, Jessica K. Fairley, Stefanie Erskine, Allison T. Walker, Stefan H. Hagmann, Mark J. Sotir, Edward T. Ryan, Regina C. LaRocque J Travel Med (2016) 24 (1): taw075 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jtm/taw075 First published online: 30 October 2016 (7 pages)
Background: International travellers are at risk of travel-related, vaccine-preventable diseases. More data are needed on the proportion of travellers who refuse vaccines during a pre-travel health consultation and their reasons for refusing vaccines.
Methods: We analyzed data on travellers seen for a pre-travel health consultation from July 2012 through June 2014 in the Global TravEpiNet (GTEN) consortium. Providers were required to indicate one of three reasons for a traveller refusing a recommended vaccine: (1) cost concerns, (2) safety concerns or (3) not concerned with the illness. We calculated refusal rates among travellers eligible for each vaccine based on CDC recommendations current at the time of travel. We used multivariable logistic regression models to examine the effect of individual variables on the likelihood of accepting all recommended vaccines.
Results: Of 24 478 travellers, 23 768 (97%) were eligible for at least one vaccine. Travellers were most frequently eligible for typhoid (N = 20 092), hepatitis A (N = 12 990) and influenza vaccines (N = 10 539). Of 23 768 eligible travellers, 6573 (25%) refused one or more recommended vaccine(s). Of those eligible, more than one-third refused the following vaccines: meningococcal: 2232 (44%) of 5029; rabies: 1155 (44%) of 2650; Japanese encephalitis: 761 (41%) of 1846; and influenza: 3527 (33%) of 10 539. The most common reason for declining vaccines was that the traveller was not concerned about the illness. In multivariable analysis, travellers visiting friends and relatives (VFR) in low or medium human development countries were less likely to accept all recommended vaccines, compared with non-VFR travellers (OR = 0.74 (0.59–0.95)).
Conclusions: Travellers who sought pre-travel health care refused recommended vaccines at varying rates. A lack of concern about the associated illness was the most commonly cited reason for all refused vaccines. Our data suggest more effective education about disease risk is needed for international travellers, even those who seek pre-travel advice.