HAV & HBV vaccination among travellers participating in the National Health and Wellness Survey in five European countries

Riccardo Pedersini, Cinzia Marano, Laurence De Moerlooze, Lin Chen, Jeffrey Vietri
Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease 2016, 14 (3): 221-32

BACKGROUND: A main cause of hepatitis A and B infections in European countries is travel to endemic countries. Most research on hepatitis vaccination among travellers from Europe has been conducted in airports or travel clinics, samples which potentially overrepresented frequent travellers.

METHODS: 2102 respondents across France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK completed an internet-based questionnaire. Vaccination status, travel to endemic countries, and other characteristics were compared across frequent, occasional, and non-travellers. Logistic regressions tested association between vaccination and travel adjusting for potential confounders.

RESULTS: Most respondents were occasional travellers (61%) and 24% were frequent travellers. Frequent travellers had 2.3-2.4 times the odds of being vaccinated relative to non-travellers, and odds of vaccination were 2.5-3.1 times higher among travellers to endemic areas relative to others (all p < .05). Frequent travellers were more aware of their vaccination status (HAV: 80% vs. 72%; HBV: 82% vs. 74%), though many who were vaccinated could not identify the number of injections to complete the series (47% vs. 29%) (all p < .05).

CONCLUSION: Travel frequency and destination endemicity are associated with increased hepatitis A and B vaccination. The number of unvaccinated travellers and the lack of recall for the dosing schedule suggest the need to improve travellers' awareness and adherence to recommendations.

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