Vaccines for travel to India

Vaccines for Travel to India

When you start planning your trip to India and sit down to make a to-do list, put “call doctor for vaccine appointment” at the top of the list. Then don’t put it off.

According to the CDC, you need to start yourimmunizations at least four to six weeks before you plan to leave. That way the vaccines will have time to become effective. And you’ll also be able to start taking preventive medicines for diseases that don’t have vaccines, such asmalaria.

Here’s an overview of the vaccines you may need before you leave for India. Keep in mind that the actual vaccinations you need will be determined by several factors that you and your health careprovider should review together.

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Deciding What Vaccines to Get

To determine what vaccines you need, yourhealth care provider will:

Consider your current health and health historyReview your immunization recordsEvaluate your itinerary

Then he or she will let you know exactly what vaccines you need and where you can get them.

The list of vaccines will be based on:

Your health statusHow current your immunizations areWhere you are planning to go in the countries you are visitingWhat you’re likely to do while you’re there

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Staying Up to Date on U.S. Vaccines

Your doctor will review your immunization record to make sure you are up to date on the standard vaccines and booster shots that people in the U.S. should have. That includes immunizations for:

measlesmumpsrubellachickenpoxdiphtheriapertussispolio

You’ll also possibly need a tetanus booster shot. And it’s important to make sure that your flu shot is current.

Vaccines for India

Here are vaccines you may need for travel to India:

Flu Shots OK for People With Egg Allergy

Hepatitis AThis disease can be transmitted through food and water. The risk for Hepatitis A in India is high. So, immunization is highly recommended.

Hepatitis B. There is an intermediate risk for hepatitis B in India. Hepatitis B is a viral infectionthat can be transmitted by contact with bloodand other bodily fluids. That means you could potentially be exposed through:

sexual activityrecreational drug usebeing in an accidentreceiving medical care

If you haven’t been vaccinated for it already, you should get the vaccine before you go.

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Typhoid feverTyphoid fever is a life-threatening illness. It’s caused by bacteria. You can get typhoid fever by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

It’s recommended that anyone traveling in southern Asia, including India, be vaccinated against it. This is especially important if you will be visiting rural areas or staying in small towns.

Japanese encephalitis. India is a high-risk area for this viral disease. It is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito. The disease is potentially fatal.

Flu Shots OK for People With Egg Allergy

People who will be staying in rural farming areas are at the highest risk. Travelers to India are advised to get the vaccine before going.

Rabies. Getting the rabies vaccine is especially important if you will be spending time outdoors, particularly in rural areas. Young children are especially vulnerable to animal bites and infection with rabies.

Yellow feverYellow fever is transmitted bymosquito bite. It’s not a major concern for people traveling in India. You may not need to get the vaccine before you go.

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But it’s important to know that when you get to India you may be asked to show proof of yellow fever vaccination if you visited a country with risk of yellow fever before your arrival in India.

Without that proof, you may be quarantined for up to six days when you first arrive. Yellow fever is mostly found in tropical and subtropical countries in Central America, South America, and Africa.

For more information about medical preparation for travel to India, go to http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/india.

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How to Get More Information About Vaccines

You can find more information about health issues for international travelers by contacting your state health department.

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