Changes in the vaccination landscape: How should transferees adjust?

The health landscape is shifting as communities deal with a rising number of families opting out of vaccines for their children. The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies “vaccination hesitancy” as one of the 10 threats to global health in 2019.

What does this mean for a globally mobile workforce?

It means that transferees need to be vigilant about vaccination guidelines, and careful to protect their family members when moving into areas where diseases are more prevalent than in the past. For example, the WHO has seen a 30% increase in measles cases worldwide since 2016.

In places where vaccinations had eradicated certain diseases, non-vaccinated people were still protected thanks to ‘herd immunity.’ Gaps in immunized populations now put those who cannot be vaccinated at greater risk. These vulnerable individuals include people who are severely immunocompromised due to cancer or other conditions. They may need to take greater care when settling into new communities where illnesses now pose a greater threat.

To prepare for travel and protect your family’s health, be aware of the vaccination situation in your destination country. Established by the WHO, Vaccine Safety Net is a global network of websites that provides reliable information on vaccine safety.  The network includes 72 member websites in 34 countries. Search by country or language here.

In addition, below are links to health organizations in a selection of countries: 

Australia: Australian Department of Health – Immunisation
Get the Facts” campaign

Brazil:  Sociedade Brasileira de Imunizações (SBI) (in Portuguese)

Canada: Health Canada
Provincial and Territorial Immunization Information

China:  National Health Commission (in Chinese):
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention – National Immunization Program (NIP)

EU: Throughout Europe, each country has its own vaccination policy, but the EU also establishes some common guidelines.
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
Vaccine schedules in all EU countries

UK: National Health Services (NHS)
NHS England
NHS Scotland
NHS Wales
Health and Social Care (HSC) Northern Ireland

US: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Also be aware of changing laws. Just last week, New York State passed a law ending religious exemptions for immunizations, leaving only medical reasons why a child will be allowed to enter school unvaccinated.

Staying informed and consulting with your physician before travel will help keep your family healthy abroad.

Written by Ellen Harris, GMS, Product Manager, Content Group