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Keeping travellers up to date with global vaccination requirements

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Do you know which vaccinations are needed? Do you know which vaccinations are needed to go out into the world?

International travellers are potentially exposed to a range of hazards and risks overseas, including vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). Vaccination before travelling can therefore reduce the risk of disease to an individual and also contribute to reducing the transmission of diseases by travellers.1

A pre-travel health risk assessment by a practice nurse should identify the health risks relevant for the traveller’s destination, including VPD, to provide appropriate advice to mitigate the risks and, if indicated, recommend and administer vaccinations.2,3

Providing travel health services can be challenging due to the changing epidemiology of VPD, variation in certificate requirements, vaccine supply issues and the time allocated to provide services.

Individual travellers may further compound matters by presenting very close to their date of travel, having incomplete vaccine schedules and/or complex medical histories.

This article considers the importance of a pre-travel risk assessment by practice nurses and highlights the web‑based resources that can be used to determine VPD risks. It discusses the rationale for why specific vaccines are indicated and provides updates on the risks and recommendations.

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