Planning to travel to India? It sure is a great place to visit with the diverse experiences and the varieties, cultures and landscapes the continent has to offer. However, please do consider what you unquestionably need to know about vaccine requirements before any visit there. Do not be tempted to skip injections - or leave them until the last minute. (Ask a GP or a nurse for advice.) They will have a list of the appropriate vaccines and medications you will definitely need. You need to give yourself a couple of months prior to your travel as some vaccinations need time to take effect.
We can advise, at the clinic, what you need to do. Having effective vaccination cover and taking preventative medicines will ensure your visit results in no nasty surprises while you are there or when you return home.
It is very important not to forget the necessary vaccinations before you travel to India. Remote and exotic places can be dangerous and protecting yourself against exotic diseases and knowing why, as well as making sure you have the required medicines and vaccines, can save you from long term health problems later. Learn about the Indian vaccines on this page today. The list is long and some may not be required if you have immunity already; however this must be discussed with the doctor or nurse.
Prior to being given the following vaccines our doctor or practice nurse will need to assess your suitability individually on a case by case basis. You may need an International Certificate of Vaccination to prove you have been immunised against Yellow Fever, as some countries will not allow you entry unless you can produce one.
(A list of Indian regions and requirements of immunisation and helpful advice is given on the Fitfortravel NHS website. At the clinic we will be able to help you with the correct immunisations.)
Yellow fever vaccination certificate requirements for India are specific and lengthy. Go to the WHO Website for more information.
(If leaving from the UK, via Europe or the Middle east (and have not been in a South American or African country in the previous week) a yellow fever vaccination certificate is not required but it is important that you check first with the Indian Embassy.)
If you are travelling with prescription medications and/or over the counter products it is important to check with the embassy of the country you are planning to visiting for any restrictions on these prior to travel.
Japanese Encephalitis - It is spread by a bite from an infected mosquito. The mosquito breeds in rice paddies and is active between dusk and dawn. The risk is highest for long stay travellers to rural areas, particularly as it is difficult to avoid mosquito bites. Sprays and nets should be used to avoid being bitten
Zika virus - It is spread by a bite from an infected mosquito. The particular mosquito responsible bites during daylight hours and there are many in urban settings. It can also transmit dengue fever, chikungunya fever and yellow fever. There is only a slight risk by sexual transmission.
A link has been identified between infection during pregnancy and babies born with birth defects. There is no vaccine currently available against ZIKAV.
50% DEET- based insect repellents should be applied regularly (according to the manufacturers’ instructions). DEET is appropriate for use in pregnancy. If DEET is unsuitable then a proven alternative should be used instead.
These are useful websites for useful information.
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/zika/ NHS Choices Zika Virus:
Public Health England Leaflet - Health advice for women returning from areas with high or moderate risk of Zika virus transmission. (Updated February 2019).
Hepatitis A Three doses in total - (Day 0, 6-18 months, 20-25 years). If the second dose is late, 20-year protection can still be relied upon.
Hepatitis B - Booster at 5 years or when antibody levels fall. Fast course: Day 0, then 1 month, 2 months, 12 months. Accelerated course: Day 0, 7, 21, then 12 months.
Yellow Fever -
(We are a certified authorised centre for this vaccine).
Yellow Fever is transmitted by bites from infected mosquitoes during daylight hours. (It is a different type from the mosquito that causes malaria which tends to bite from dusk until dawn.) Although vaccination does offer high protection against yellow fever, taking additional steps to avoid being bitten is also important and strongly advised. (Insect repellent body sprays.)
Pregnant women should not be immunised with this vaccine. It is sometimes given after the sixth month if there is a high risk of contracting it; also if you are breast-feeding and at high risk it may be given.
If you are immune-suppressed - i.e. people with HIV, on high-dose long-term steroids or receiving chemotherapy, etc. should not receive this vaccine.
Children under 9 months old should not receive the yellow fever vaccine. (Babies aged 6-9 months may occasionally receive the vaccine if the risk of yellow fever during travel is unavoidable.)
If you are ill with a fever you should ideally postpone the injection until you are better.
This vaccine contains small amounts of egg so a severe reaction to egg, although very rare, should not be given. (It does not mean disliking eggs or an upset stomach.)
If you have had a severe reaction to the yellow fever vaccine in the past this vaccine is contra indicated.
Those over 60 years old who have not previously been vaccinated against yellow fever have an increased risk of side-effects.
If you have a thymus disorder this vaccine in contra indicated.
Chickenpox - (Contra indicated for pregnant women.) Air travel is not allowed for five days after the appearance of the last spot.
Cholera - Cholera vaccine is not needed by most travellers but advisable if travelling to a high-risk area. In pregnant and/or breast-feeding women the safety of this vaccine is not documented. Therefore, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, the vaccine should only be considered if the risks are high in areas known to have Cholera.
Dengue Fever - There are now vaccines available for dengue fever and some going through development but they are not available worldwide. In Brazil and Mexico, there is an approved vaccine.
Influenza - It is important however to tell the doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It is okay for pregnant women to receive the flu jab.
Please also inform the doctor if you have a condition that makes you bleed more i.e. haemophilia or are taking other medications, including across the counter i.e. herbal/ complementary medicines.
There is a risk throughout the year. The highest in north-eastern states of Meghalaya, Mizoram, district of Amini in Arunachal Pradesh, north and south Chhattisgarh, Orissa and the city of Mangalore.
In central Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh the risk is not high enough to warrant anti-malarial tablets for most travellers.
Check with our doctor or nurse at the clinic for recommended anti-malarial tablets.
Malaria chemoprophylaxis is not prescribable on FP10. Chloroquine and proguanil can be bought over the counter.
Mefloquine, doxycycline, and Malarone® require a private prescription.
People should not to buy anti-malarial medications abroad or purchased over the internet as they are more than likely to be fake.
Insect repellent sprays and mosquito nets can be bought over the counter from chemists easily and should definitely be used.
Please see Malaria;World Health Organization, 2014 (updated 2016) on the internet for additional information.
Mumps Measles and Rubella (MMR). - (Contra indicated for pregnant women.) You should also not become pregnant for one month after having a rubella (MMR) immunisation. However, it is safe to have if you are breast-feeding. You should also not have the vaccine if you are having chemotherapy or are immuno-suppressed.
If you are allergic to neomycin or gelatine (which are part of the vaccine) it is contra indicated. There is an adaptation available which does not contain gelatine or if prefer not to have gelatine.
Meningitis - You can be immunised against various strains of the meningococcal virus if you chose to be. It is not a requirement for India however it is advisable if the area is over populated. (Give yourself at least two weeks before you travel.) There are very few people who cannot be given meningococcal vaccines. It is also safe to have the vaccine if you are breastfeeding. The risk for meningococcal meningitis is low for tourists but higher for people living or working in endemic or outbreak areas.
Pneumonia - Generally, booster doses of vaccine are not required. However, in people without a spleen or with certain chronic kidney diseases, antibody levels fall, gradually over time. These people should therefore have a booster dose every five years.
Polio - You may be advised to have a booster if you have not had a booster dose within the previous 10 years and plan to travel to certain countries. This is particularly important for health workers who intend to work in high risk areas.
Rabies - Animals can transfer rabies, if infected, through a bite, scratch or by licking an open wound. Bats can also pose a problem: you may be bitten while asleep and not notice. You are especially at risk in areas with rabies.
You should plan for this vaccination at least two months before your intended departure to be sure you are fully covered. If that is not possible, having part of the vaccination treatment is still worthwhile. Up to three injections are given several weeks apart.
When visiting remote areas it is unlikely that access to the right treatment will be quick enough as medical facilities are few and far between and rarely have human rabies-specific immunoglobulin (HRIG) which gives rapid, short-term protection for anyone who has been bitten and not vaccinated.
Shingles - (Contra indicated for pregnant women.) People with a weakened immune system may benefit from the vaccine. The vaccine is licensed for people over 50 however you may not be eligible for the vaccine on the NHS. We can do this for you at the clinic.
Tetanus -If you are up to date with your immunisations then you will not need it. However, if you travel to areas where medical attention may not be available then a dose of vaccine may be advisable even if you have had five previous injections especially if it has been more than 10 years since your last injection as a precautionary measure. Our doctor or practice nurse will advise you on this. The tetanus vaccine is safe if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. You should not have another injection of the vaccine if it previously caused a severe reaction.
DTaP. (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis). These horrible diseases are all now rare in the UK and have saved innumerable lives. So it is very important that your baby is protected if you plan taking him/her with you to India.
DTaP is a combination vaccine, and now includes IPV (polio), Hib, Hep B or the hexavalent vaccine. It is usually known as the 6-in-1 vaccine:
1, 2 and 3: DTaP: Diphtheria (D), Tetanus (T) and acellular Pertussis (aP) (whooping cough).
4 IPV: Inactivated polio vaccine'. Polio is short for poliomyelitis.
5 Hib: Haemophilus influenza type b.
6 Hep B: Hepatitis B.
(The DTaP/IPV(polio) vaccine is offered to all pregnant women between 28 and 38 weeks of pregnancy. The aim is to boost short-term immunity to their newborn babies who normally cannot be vaccinated until 2 months of age.)
Anyone who has been routinely vaccinated as a child should not need any more. However, boosters may be given if this is not the case. If not, then the vaccine is given as Td/IPV(polio), i.e. Tetanus and Polio only.
Typhoid - Typhoid is endemic to areas of poor sanitation - i.e. Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central and Southern America and the Caribbean.
Keeping away from contaminated water will help prevent infection, however vaccination is strongly recommended.
Ten per cent of those that are infected can excrete the bacteria for up to three months and nearly half become long-term carriers.
Children under 12 months of age are not usually given the vaccine. Parents are strongly advised to observe standards of hygiene when travelling with young children to endemic areas.
Protective antibody cover falls over time and re-vaccination is necessary for continued protection. This is particularly important for people who have immigrated to the U.K. and plan to revisit their home country, India after many years.
Due to the limited protection offered by the vaccine, scrupulous attention to personal, food and water hygiene is emphasised to travellers.
Typherix®, Typhim Vi® is a combination vaccine with hepatitis A, for adults and for adolescents aged 15 years plus. If boosted within 6-12 months of the first dose, it gives immunity from Hepatitis A for ten years, and Typhoid for only three years.
The vaccinations for India are always recommended to limit and prevent the risk of spreading the diseases abroad and returning home. Essential vaccines are: Hepatitis A, Cholera, Yellow Fever, and Rabies. If you have had these before it is important to know how long ago and inform the doctor as you may need a booster and/or additional vaccines and medications.
It is important to visit the doctor at least a couple of months before your trip as updates and changes do happen periodically. Vaccine requirement depends on your length of stay, any pre-existing health conditions, and your health generally. Our doctor will ensure that you are adequately covered and receive the necessary up-to-date vaccines and medicines for your protection.
We can help you get the correct recommended vaccines at an affordable price. (Please see our prices and fees page for more information). Our India vaccines are consistently updated depending on the current requirements.
You can feel confident that you are in safe hands. We work side by side with the health authorities to make sure we provide you with all the vaccines you need for safe travel.
Our clinic is registered and certified to administer Yellow Fever vaccines and will provide you with the necessary documentation for entry into certain countries that insist on it.
If you following the correct advice and appropriate health cover to remote areas, including India your visit will be an uneventful and enjoyable one.
Our website provides the latest information on vaccine requirement and additional medications for the rest of the world. Check out the rest of the pages on this site to learn about the vaccines needed and additional medicines required for destinations abroad and to other areas of interest. An excellent website recommended is the Fitfortravel NHS website where you can get the latest and comprehensive information to keep you safe.
All information has been licensed under the Open Government Licence. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/
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