Business Travelers

Vaccination Considerations for This Population

Lin H Chen; Karin Leder; Mary E Wilson


Expert Rev Vaccines. 2013;12(4):453-466. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Illness in business travelers is associated with reduced productivity on the part of the employee as well as the employer. Immunizations offer a reliable method of preventing infectious diseases for international business travelers. The authors review the travel patterns of business travelers, available data on illnesses they encounter, their potential travel-associated risks for vaccine-preventable diseases and recommendations on immunizations for this population. Routine vaccines (e.g., measles, tetanus and influenza) should be reviewed to assure that they provide current coverage. The combined hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine with a rapid schedule offers options for those with time constraints. Other vaccine recommendations for business travelers need to focus on their destinations and activities and underlying health, taking into account the concept of cumulative risk for those with frequent travel, multiple trips or long stays.


The number of travelers undertaking international trips has increased markedly over the last few decades, with an estimated 982 million international tourist arrivals in 2011. Several sources on traveler demographics have shown that the business travelers comprise 14–21% of the traveler cohorts,[1–3,101,102] equating to almost 150 million international business trips annually. Business travel is generally defined as travel for business or professional reasons.[103] It is sometimes referred to as occupational travel. However, people who travel for work are a heterogeneous group, ranging from business executives to expatriates.[4] In this paper, the authors will focus on corporate travelers on short-term assignments (up to several months) and will only comment briefly about expatriate corporate travelers. Those traveling to attend conventions/conferences are likely traveling for business, although their risk may be modified by virtue of spending most of their time with other travelers. The authors do not address this group separately but recommendations would be similar to those for business travelers.