Characteristics and preparation of the last-minute traveler: analysis of vaccine usage in the Global TravEpiNet Consortium.
BACKGROUND: Last-minute travellers (LMTs) present challenges for health care providers because they may have insufficient time for recommended vaccinations or pre-travel preparation. Our objective was to obtain a better understanding of LMTs in order to help travel medicine providers develop improved strategies to decrease the number of LMTs and potentially reduce travel-related morbidity.
METHODS: We defined LMTs as travellers with a departure date of 7 days or fewer from the medical encounter. We analysed the characteristics and health preparation of 12 494 LMTs who presented to a network of US clinical practices for pre-travel health advice between January 2009 and December 2015.
RESULTS: LMTs comprised 16% of all travellers. More LMTs than non-LMTs travelled for business or to visit friends and relatives (VFR) (26% vs 16% and 15% vs 8%, respectively; P < 0.0001). More LMTs also travelled for longer than 1 month (27% vs 21%; P < 0.0001) and visited only urban areas (40% vs 29%; P < 0.0001). At least one travel vaccine was deferred by 18% of LMTs because of insufficient time before departure. Vaccines that required multiple vaccinations, such as Japanese encephalitis and rabies, were the most likely to be deferred because of time constraints.
CONCLUSION: Interventions to improve the timing of pre-travel health consultations should be developed, particularly for business and VFR travellers. Recently endorsed accelerated vaccine schedules for Japanese encephalitis and rabies may help some LMTs receive protection against these infections despite late presentation for pre-travel health care.
Published In/Presented At
Yates, J. A., Rao, S. R., Walker, A. T., Esposito, D. H., Sotir, M., LaRocque, R. C., Ryan, E. T., & Global TravEpiNet Consortium (2019). Characteristics and preparation of the last-minute traveler: analysis of vaccine usage in the Global TravEpiNet Consortium. Journal of travel medicine, 26(6), taz031. https://doi.org/10.1093/jtm/taz031
Department of Medicine