India Travel Vaccinations - Guide to Travel Vaccinations for India
When travelling abroad, making sure you are travelling safely is of the utmost importance and should be one of the first things you research. Be sure you have all the recommended travel vaccinations for India by talking to your doctor or travel doctor well before your time of travel. Many vaccines and medications that you will likely need before travelling should be sorted out well in advance with some medications needing to be started before commencement to the country of risk.
India Travel Vaccinations
The following is a quick guide to the vaccine and medication recommended for India travel however should not at any rate be a replacement for a visit to a doctor as each individual is different and personal circumstances vary as well as your travel history and plans.
Most immunisations last for life, meaning that you only have to get immunised once and it will last a lifetime. Some have a set immunity that can range from one year to ten years depending on the vaccine. So it is important to look at your options and get a doctor or medical practitioner to advise you on what you will need for your travels.
Routine Recommended Vaccines
Most people have already been immunised against these routine vaccinations, many being immunisations for life, therefore shouldn’t need boosters. However if you are not sure if you have been immunised or not you can always get a blood test that can test whether you have or not.
Measles, Mumps & Rubella
Recommended vaccines are those that you have often not been immunised for as a child, and can be important for your travel depending on your itinerary and the duration of your trip.
The cost of vaccinations vary however aren’t usually cheap, but your health is worth a lot more so don’t be perturbed by the price as it could save you a lot of suffering and even your life.
Vaccinations aside, malaria is very common in India and shouldn’t at any cost be overlooked. In 2008 alone there were 1.52million cases in India, 935 of them fatal. Although this is a large decrease from the 75million cases in 1947 and 8million deaths recorded by the NVBDCP, it still poses a high risk for anyone travelling there.
Malaria is a parasitic infection that infects your red blood cells. You can get malaria from a small mosquito bite therefore you can see how easily it can be spread. A vaccine for malaria is not in sight just yet but there are things that can help prevent illness.
The first golden rule is to avoid getting bitten in the first place, though it is easier said than done, but small things like covering up with loose, light clothing to have as little skin exposed as possible, screened windows are also helpful, so is mosquito repellent. But even if you do all of the above, it is still a good idea to take anti-malarial tablets that are a malaria prevention drug.
There are different types of anti-malarials available. The most popular being Doxycycline, however like most drugs there can be side-effects such as nausea, heartburn, being more sensitive to the sun, while it can interfere with the oral contraceptive and can predispose women to thrush. All these things should be discussed with your doctor. The other is Malarone which is relatively new on the market which has been tested to be more effective and having the least side-effects. So depending on your circumstances and medical history you should be able to take one of the anti-malarial drugs safely. It should be stated that Malarone is much more expensive than Doxycycline.
So before heading off abroad to India, consider the health risks involved and discuss these with your doctor so you are covered and can enjoy your trip without illness. Being sick while in a foreign and third-world country is far from ideal and can ultimately ruin your whole trip.