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Travel health: routine and required vaccines

Vaccines are an important public health measure and may prompt travellers to attend for pre-travel health advice, write Claire Wong and Hilary Simons.

In 2010, 55.6 million UK residents travelled overseas.1 In the UK, nurses often provide pre-travel health advice and vaccinations, and the need for vaccines may be the prompt for many travellers to seek travel health advice. Vaccination is an important public health intervention.

It is important that nurses involved in the provision of travel health advice have a sound working knowledge of vaccines, in order to provide travellers with accurate advice and individualised recommendations. Travel vaccines must only be administered following a comprehensive risk assessment, during which travellers should be provided with advice on other preventable hazards and avoidance measures, such as accidents, sexual health, food, water, personal hygiene precautions and insect bite avoidance.

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