Letters to the Editor
Travel Immunizations: Benefits and Precautions
Am Fam Physician. 2005 Jun 15;71(12):2254.
to the editor: The article “Travel Immunizations” provided an excellent overview of the vaccine-preventable illnesses.1 I would like to make two points with respect to travel immunizations.
In addition to the obvious benefits of influenza vaccine for international travelers, physicians should consider an indication for the use of this vaccine in travelers to isolated Amerindian populations of the lowlands of South America. Such populations, with recent and minimal outside contact, suffer significant mortality as a consequence of contracting influenza and need to be protected from influenza introduced by travelers.
The authors correctly point out that analysis of recipients of the yellow fever vaccine in the United States from 1990 to 1998 indicated that persons 65 years or older were at increased risk for neurologic and systemic reactions. These adverse reactions appear to have occurred almost exclusively in first-time users of yellow fever vaccine who were older than 65 years, but not in those older than 65 years who underwent revaccination. A recent report in the Lancet2 indicated that persons with a history of thymus disease or thymectomy are at greatest risk for developing multiple organ failure and should not be given yellow fever vaccine.
1. Lo Re V 3d, Gluckman SJ. Travel immunizations. Am Fam Physician. 2004;70:89–99.103–4.
2. Barwick R, Eidex for the Yellow Fever Vaccine Safety Working Group. History of thymoma and yellow fever vaccination. Lancet. 2004;364:936.
editor’s note: This letter was sent to the authors of “Travel Immunizations,” who declined to reply.
Send letters to Kenneth W. Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211-2680.
Please include your complete address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors.
Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Possible conflicts of interest must be disclosed at time of submission. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting the American Academy of Family Physicians permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. The editors may edit letters to meet style and space requirements.
Copyright © 2005 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact email@example.com for copyright questions and/or permission requests.
Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions