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Immunisations for India?? Help!

(17 Posts)
NoonarAgain Thu 14-Jan-16 12:43:46

I'm travelling to india at the end of March with dh and dc aged 11 and 14. I'm finding the government guidance on immunisations really confusing. can anyone help me figure out which jabs we should be having and when? also, which, if any, are optional and which are required.


dementedpixie Thu 14-Jan-16 14:39:40

Does your GP run an travel immunisations clinic? Ours is run by the nurse and it was her we went to to sort out our jabs for the Dominican Republic

dementedpixie Thu 14-Jan-16 14:42:18 - gives the ones that are usually advised and others that may be advised depending on the type of holiday. Also advises on areas requiring malaria tablet precautions

Sidge Thu 14-Jan-16 15:00:27

Well it depends where you're going, what sort of accommodation, what plans you have whilst there - travel health isn't just about vaccinations, it's about many other things too such as bite avoidance, water and food hygiene, altitude, sun and skin damage.

Ask at your surgery for a travel health appointment with the practice nurses if they offer travel health services, if not they may signpost you elsewhere). Provide a detailed itinerary of your travel plans to allow a thorough risk assessment.

I would certainly suggest you are all in date for diphtheria, tetanus and polio, and consider Hepatitis A, typhoid and Hepatitis B. You may need antimalarials depending where you're going.

No jabs are compulsory for India but IMO as a qualified HCP in that field I think you'd be reckless to travel without them.

NoonarAgain Thu 14-Jan-16 19:22:53

thanks everyone. i have looked at the link above but there seems too much to decide!
i have now spoken to the travel clinic and have been given some clear advice related to my trip, just as you say side, they risk assessed MY trip. the only thing I'm a bit unsure of is the rabies vaccine, which they are encouraging at least for the dc. any thoughts?

Sidge Thu 14-Jan-16 20:47:06

Hmm well it very much depends on your plans. Rabies vaccine just "buys you time" and doesn't preclude the need for health intervention should you have a contact with a potentially rabid animal.

If you will be within 24 hours of a decent medical facility you may not need rabies vaccine as you can access treatment quickly should you need it. It does depend on availability of immunoglobulins etc where you are travelling to. However India has some excellent health care, so if you are staying fairly 'mainstream' you may well be sorted. If you will be going off the beaten track then vaccination may be advised.

Rabies vaccine is often advised for younger children who may not be trusted to avoid petting animals, getting licked or bitten. But yours are old enough to be sensible and avoid the risks of animals!

Ultimately it depends on 1, whether you can afford it (it's not cheap) and 2, how risk-averse you are.

Hipotle Thu 14-Jan-16 20:50:40

I have had the rabies jab for every time I've been to India, partly because I've been in rural or beach areas where there tend to be lots of stray dogs wandering smile I would probably recommend it as a caution, although type of trip and location would defo be a contributing factor in a decision.

Destinysdaughter Thu 14-Jan-16 20:56:57

I was in India for 4 months, didn't have rabies injections but yes there are a lot of stray dogs around!

Also with hepatitis injections and malaria tablets, remember you need to have them well in advance.

NoonarAgain Fri 15-Jan-16 08:59:29

ok. well, a couple of points that seem relevant. my 11 yo is very sensible but is very small for her age. the nurse i spoke to said that animals get closer to children as they are smaller and less intimidating to the animal (also little ones may encourage that contact). my 11 is very bright and has already been talking about the rabies risk in india and has randomly been fretting about it- weird as i've not mentioned it at all. i realise its not cheap and that in a way is part of the issue. would we have it if it were free? yes, def! so then we should be prepared to pay, surely.

we are going on an organised tour in the north and then staying on the beach in Goa, at a 4 star hotel.

the nurse also said that if we don't get the vaccine then we would not be covered with medical insurance for rabies treatment. does that sound right?

we are not advised to take antimalarials. i think its just hep A, typhoid, tetanus/ polio and rabies.

NoonarAgain Fri 15-Jan-16 09:07:58

oh and regarding needing the rabies treatment anyway, even if youve been vaccinated, the nurse said the issue is that symptoms can appear within 4 days but a vaccine takes 2 weeks to work. so it could still be fatal even if you got treatment the same day.

Sidge Fri 15-Jan-16 09:54:54

But if you have a high risk rabies contact you don't just get given rabies vaccine, you get immunoglobulins as well that work quickly to cover you until the vaccine 'kicks in'. So it is imperative that you seek help if you have a bite/scratch/lick from a suspect animal or bat, even if vaccinated.

Yes having rabies vaccine is a good idea if risk is significant, as it reduces the amount of vaccine needed post-exposure. Regarding the insurance issue, that would depend on the conditions of your travel insurance provider - read the small print thoroughly!

Have a lovely trip smile

NoonarAgain Fri 15-Jan-16 10:18:14

sidge, as i say, dd2 is very anxious about it so i think we will just get the dc done and dh and i will take our chances!! thanks for that extra info re the vaccine.

Sidge Fri 15-Jan-16 12:02:51

That sounds like a plan smile

Destinysdaughter Fri 15-Jan-16 12:25:09

Glad you've got it sorted! Take tampons if it will be your time of the month as you can't buy them in India. And Deet!

specialsubject Fri 15-Jan-16 13:32:25

and slap on that DEET, plus covering up. Like anywhere tropical, India has dengue and there's currently no vaccine for that.

getting it once is not good. Getting it twice is REALLY not good - so if you get it, you'd need to think very hard about visiting any dengue zones again. First world problem, I know.

Whatdoidohelp Fri 15-Jan-16 13:45:46

Something else to remember - take lots of immodium and rehydration sachets. If you all didn't get at least dose of the runs I'd be surprised.

Whatdoidohelp Fri 15-Jan-16 13:46:48

Oops pressed post to soon.

Don't have any ice or salad. Only eat fruit if you rinse it yourself in bottled water.

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