Vaccination Certificate Requirements for International Travel and Health Advice to Travellers

World Health Organization Geneva 1983, 70 pages. Price Sw. fr. 12.-

Barnett L. ClineDepartment of Tropical Medicine Tulane Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112

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The 1983 edition of this popular World Health Organization booklet differs only slightly from the previous version which was reviewed in these pages one year ago (Volume 31, No. 6, pp. 1301–1302). Happily we learn that for the first time no country requires smallpox vaccination certificates of entering travelers. (Chad eliminated its requirement during the preceeding year.) Information has also been updated on the vaccination certificate requirements of, and the malaria situation in, all countries from Afghanistan through Zimbabwe …

It was good to note some revision of the section on immunization, such as elimination of the recommendation for measles revaccination every 4 years, but room for improvement remains. For example, many authorities would question the recommendation that “children visiting relatives in countries where the incidence of tuberculosis is high should have their BCG status checked before leaving home”; PPD skin testing before and after travel would be more appropriate in many or all cases.