Posted by: mkirschmd | December 20, 2009

Why Do Travelers Skip Travel Vaccinations?


I read an interesting piece of news from ‘across the pond’ this week.  It was a small news item released in London, but it caught our attention at Travelogue.  The results of this survey should be of interest to every American who will be traveling abroad and wants to remain safe. Before relating the British survey findings to you, take a look at our own safety survey question.

Which of the following activities are safe and sensible activities?

(1)   Driving while text messaging

(2)   Wearing dark sunglasses as you drive into a tunnel

(3)   Wandering alone in unfamiliar neighborhoods in foreign countries at night

(4)   Riding a motorcycle without a helmet

(5)   Approaching a family of cute raccoons in your backyard

(6)   Letting your 2 year old play with marbles

If your answer is ‘none of the above’, then consider yourself to be genius material.  All of these activities demonstrate poor judgment.  Is is it really an ‘accident’ if  a bad outcome should be anticipated and could have been prevented?

Here’s the latest from Britain.  They just published research findings that showed that a majority of British travelers never investigate if they need travel vaccinations before going abroad.   For example, over 90% of them did not know that travel vaccines are necessary for travel to eastern Europe and to Russia.   Why would folks from an educated society make such a poor judgment that places them at unnecessary risk?  Surely, these travelers wouldn’t let small kids play with matches or leave them unattended in a swimming pool.  Yet, they completely ignore their own travel safety

While we do not have firm statistics in America, vaccine manufacturers estimate that over 10 million of us will go overseas without necessary travel vaccinations.   When we do so, we risk hepatitis, yellow fever, typhoid, rabies and meningitis.  Every one of these diseases can be prevented by a safe and effective vaccine.  Make sure that you get the travel shots and safety advice you need before departure.  Consult with a travel physician in your area at Find Travel Clinic

Let’s recap.  Which of the following represent sound and safe judgments?

(1)   Offering your airplane pilot a beer

(2)   Cigarette smoking to reduce personal stress

(3)   Traveling to foreign countries without consulting a travel doctor

If you’re stumped on this question, then read this post again.


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