Typhoid fever is one of the most common diagnoses in returned international travelers. Our aim was to study the typhoid vaccine prescription practices for travelers from Greece visiting developing countries.
A prospective questionnaire-based study was conducted during 2009-2012 in 57 Public Health Departments, which are the only sources of typhoid vaccine in Greece.
A total of 3,680 travelers were studied (median age: 38.1 years). Typhoid vaccine was delivered to 1,108 (30.1%) of them. Of those who traveled to sub-Saharan Africa, South America, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, South Africa, East Asia, North Africa, and Central America, 31.6, 17.1, 35, 44.2, 36.9, 31, 17.7, 31.6, and 36.8% received typhoid vaccine, respectively. Of travelers who stayed <1 month, 1 to <3 months, 3 to <6 months, and ≥6 months, 21.4, 63.1, 32.3, and 34.9% were vaccinated, respectively. According to the purpose of travel, typhoid vaccine was administered to 32.7% of those who traveled for leisure, to 28.8% of those who traveled for business, and to 24.1% of those visiting friends and relatives (VFRs). Of travelers who stayed in urban areas, rural areas, and urban and rural areas, 36.3, 30.1, and 26.8% were vaccinated, respectively. The majority of travelers who received the typhoid vaccine stayed in camps (62.9%) or at local residences (41%). Typhoid vaccine administration was statistically significantly associated with destination, duration of travel, purpose of travel, area of stay, and type of accommodation.
There is a need to increase awareness of travelers and public health professionals for typhoid vaccination and particularly for high-risk groups of travelers, such as travelers to the Indian subcontinent and VFRs. Strategies for continuing professional education should be developed for travel health professionals.