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Issymum looking for vaccination advice for children travelling to developing countries

(5 Posts)
Issymum Tue 29-Mar-05 12:26:33

My best friend, Kate, and her husband are taking their children (3 girls aged 7, 9 and 11) on a year long road trip from Alaska to Argentina.

Kate has some real concerns about what vaccintations the girls should have, trying to tread a fine line between keeping them safe and not bombarding their immune systems with excessive drugs. None of this helped by the fact that Kate lives in France, which has a rather technocratic view of health - doctors are always right, medical technology is always a good thing. Kate is trying to get a wider view by comparing the French recommendations with those of other European countries and get some opinions on tricky subjects like malaria vaccinations.

So here are Kate's questions:

DTP especially the Tetanus and Poloio part : How often do they recommend boosting it for kids in the UK (in France they impose a 5 year revaccination rule for kids, on the
grounds of some cases of low immunity)

Typhoid & Hepatitis A : typical tropical country vaccines. Any opinions about their appropriateness, usefulness and advisability for kids?

Hepatitis B : again, what do people think about doing this for kids? Is it more relevant for our kids on our trip than it would be at home (the disease is transmitted only via body fluids)? How long does the vaccination last (one
French doctor says for life, the other 5 years!)

Malaria : What advice would anyone have about malaria medication for our kids ? (They will have a couple of 4-6 week periods of exposure - in Central America and then in northern Argentina - the other areas we are going seem to be too urban, too high or too cold.

Measles: How long does the single measles vaccintation last for? [Issymum: my understanding is you need a first vaccination, possibly a booster and then that's it.]

Thank you Mnetters. I think Kate would be grateful for any other health advice from Mnetters who have stayed in or travelled to developing countries with children of this age.

Sari Tue 29-Mar-05 12:47:58

Lucky them - we want to do this when the kids are a bit older.

I can't help out with vaccinations generally but saw the bit about malaria in Argentina and thought I'd comment. We spend a lot of time in Argentina and my understanding has always been that there is no malaria worth worrying about. I think there is a very low risk in the extreme north but you'd probably have to be tramping around in some quite isolated places to be exposed to it. (There are a couple of national parks up there on the border with Bolivia that they may be planning to go to so this might be the reason.) We've certainly never done anything about malaria when in the north of the country and if we were going up there now with our kids it wouldn't have occurred to us - doesn't mean we're right of course but I honestly have never come across anyone taking anything for malaria in Argentina (husband's family are Argentinian).

I guess they will still need to do something about malaria for central America but maybe not worrying about it in Argentina could reduce the amount of time they have to take whatever it is you take.

Let her know I'm happy to help with any info about Argentina.

Issymum Tue 29-Mar-05 20:02:34

Thanks Sari.

Bump...anyone else?

Please? I told my friend how great MNet was, how amongst the thousands of wise mothers posting here someone would be able to answer her questions ......

WideWebWitch Tue 29-Mar-05 23:10:30

Issymum, no advice but MASTA were quite helpful I seem to remember from when ds went to India when he was 4. Hang on.

WideWebWitch Tue 29-Mar-05 23:10:55


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