Vaccination confusion

August 08, 2011, 11:45 PM GMT+0

More than two in five British people mistakenly believe that extra vaccinations are not needed to travel safely to Russia, making it the country from our list about which people are most unaware when it comes to vaccinations, our poll has found.

Romania also figured high on the list, with just one in five people rightly saying that extra vaccinations are needed to travel there. The vaccination requirements of a trip to Singapore, for which extra jabs aren’t needed, and Turkey, for which they are, were also sources of confusion.

  • 61% of British people incorrectly think extra vaccinations are not needed to travel to Russia, with just 18% realising inoculations are necessary for travel to the country
  • Similarly, 62% of people believe vaccinations are not needed for travel to Romania, when they are in fact required (which only 20% realised)
  • Just 26% of people are aware that you do not need extra vaccinations to travel to Singapore (58% think that they are required)
  • And only 29% know that extra vaccinations are recommended for travel to Turkey, with over half (54%) incorrectly saying that extra jab aren’t needed
  • Countries which gained the most correct answers regarding vaccinations were Nigeria and Kenya, which 88% of people apiece correctly knew needed extra vaccinations
  • Inoculation needs for Spain are also more widely known, with 86% of people aware that extra vaccinations are not needed to travel to the country

Our poll highlights that vaccinations are clearly a source of confusion, but people heading overseas for the summer holidays should take precautions before they leave. An NHS guide to vaccinations states:

‘There’s no point spending hours choosing your swimwear, beach bag and flip-flops if you barely think about the bugs and other health risks that could ruin your holiday. Almost one in four UK holidaymakers doesn’t get any vaccinations despite travelling to areas that have life-threatening infectious diseases.’

An NHS website ‘Fit for travel’ contains travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK, and a country by country guide to vaccinations.

For Russia, for example, a destination for which 61% incorrectly think extra vaccinations are not necessary, the website advises courses or boosters for hepatitis A, diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis, as well as other vaccines depending on the region of travel.