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Many tourists "ignorant" about jabs

A new survey has found that more than half of British tourists are unaware which countries they require vaccines for.

As many as 36% could not remember when they were last vaccinated and 31% of the 2,023 adults surveyed by Post Office Travel Insurance said they did not know what they had been vaccinated against.

Tourists were most likely to be confused about Slovenia and Bulgaria, for which 94% were unaware that tetanus and hepatitis A jabs are recommended.

Travellers were most ignorant about health requirements for Russia and Thailand, and most did not know that the NHS provides jabs needed for foreign travel for free.

Rachel Croft, head of Post Office Travel Insurance, said: "It is worrying to see that so many of us are careless when it comes to checking whether vaccines or preventative medicines such as malaria tablets are recommended before visiting a destination.

"Not only are holidaymakers potentially risking their health, but they also risk invalidating their insurance policy should they become ill and need to seek medical treatment."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"Travellers cannot be expected to have knowledge of recommended vaccinations if they are never told, or advised to seek the information! Travel agents should have a duty of care to their customers to at least advise them to check with their GP practice as to whether or not vaccinations are needed for the chosen destination(s). As professionals, our responsibilities are to give written information and advice to travellers about the diseases they've been vaccinated against, how to avoid any other risks they may be likely to face during their travels, plus sources of further information. We cannot reasonably be expected, however, to give this information to people who do not request it. Not all vaccines are provided free by the NHS: hep A and typhoid are, hep B is if it is included in a combined vaccine with hep A, but rabies, meningitis ACWY, Japanese encephalitis B and yellow fever are chargable, so depending where travellers are going,their planned activities and length of
stay, they may face quite hefty charges" - Carol King, Derbyshire