Vaccine Passport Use and Travel Health Status Among Turkish Travelers at an International Airport

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey

2 Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, School of Medicine, Çanakkale, Turkey

3 School of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey

4 Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey

5 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Istanbul University-Cerrahpaşa, Istanbul, Turkey

6 General Directorate of Health for Border and Coastal Areas of Turkey, Ankara, Turkey

7 Department of Internal Medicine, School of of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey

Abstract

Introduction: Even though Istanbul is one of the centers of the world’s fastest-growing tourism and travel sector, there are limited statistics on the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of travelers from this region regarding travel-related infectious diseases. This study aimed to determine the passengers’ KAP about contagious diseases and contribute to developing new solutions for the problems people face while traveling abroad.
Methods: A questionnaire was administered to 182 Turkish travelers planning on traveling abroad and applied to the Istanbul Travel Health Center and the Istanbul Airport Health Control Center between January and March 2019.
Results: The proportion of carrying a vaccination certificate was statistically higher in those who received healthcare services at international terminals (P=0.002), especially those who had yellow fever (P<0.001) and meningococcal vaccine (P=0.011). More than half of the vaccinated passengers did not carry their vaccination certificates, while around half (53.8%) were traveling to Africa. When compared to travelers flying to Europe, vaccination checks were 6.7 times (95% CI: 2.5-17.9) higher in passengers traveling to Africa, 6.1 times (95% CI: 1.5-24.3) higher in passengers traveling to Asia, and 14.8 times (95% CI: 1.3-164.3) higher in passengers traveling to South America. In addition, the vaccination certificate carrying proportion was significantly higher in those with a travel duration of 15 days or more (P=0.028), those who received health services at international terminals (P=0.002), and those vaccinated (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Improved knowledge of travel-related infectious diseases and increased adoption of pre-travel health advice and vaccines are urgently needed among Turkish travelers.

Keywords


Volume 9, Issue 4 - Serial Number 35
December 2021
Pages 161-169
  • Receive Date: 26 September 2021
  • Revise Date: 30 November 2021
  • Accept Date: 06 December 2021
  • First Publish Date: 06 December 2021