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Travellers taking vaccination risk

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Holidaymakers are increasingly choosing to do without vaccinations for their travels, a study has revealed.

The key drivers behind the alarming jump in those willing to risk serious illness when abroad are the rinsing cost of the medication and traveller complacency.

A survey by insurance company LV= found that up to 26% of travellers who should have had jabs went without them over the last year.

The reasons these people gave were evenly split between being unconcerned as to the risks and being put off by the financial burden.

While 43% of GPs said the cost of vaccinations over the last five years had risen, with malaria tablet prices going up by more than 11%, travellers were warned that taking a risk could end up costing them a lot more in the long run.

Travellers going to long-haul destinations such as Thailand, Mexico or India would, on average, spend £93 on recommended medication, while also being advised to make sure they have adequate travel insurance.

Based on responses from 2,514 adults who had been abroad in the last five years, the survey showed that 19% who did not have jabs never bothered to seek medical advice, while 7% received advice and then ignored it.

Only 35% of those polled carry a first-aid kit while away and 20% ignore advice only to drink bottled water.

LV= travel insurance managing director John O'Roarke said: "More than 3,000 Brits were hospitalised last year while abroad, and we know many thousands more report falling ill while they're away."

© Press Association 2010