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Holiday jabs for little ones

9 replies

Kizzy · 22/03/2002 13:39


Can anyone help? We are heading off to cuba with our two year old in a month's time. The brochure suggests jabs for typhoid, hepatitis A. tetanus. However friends of ours were advised by their doctor that these are not really necessary unless going very remote - which we're not - Havana and then Varadero beach resort. I am wary of giving her these shots just for the sake of it and pumping her with yet more vaccinations. But needless to say I do not want to take any risks. Has anyone been and opted not to do jabs? Or have any opinions on this? Also has anyone been to Varadero?

OP posts:
Tillysmummy · 22/03/2002 13:41

Afraid I haven't been there yet but would think that if it was me I would look into how these diseases are typically spread / caught and then decide. For example, if they are normally spread because of dirty water etc and then decide if there is a likelihood of that where you are going. Have you asked your doctor ?

WideWebWitch · 22/03/2002 13:57

MASTA, The Medial Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad are very helpful so you could try asking them whether they consider the jabs essential for that area.

My (4yo) son has just been to India and had all the jabs you mention before he went. He had no reactions to any of them. He also had to take malaria tablets.

He hasn't had MMR and therefore I'm not massively pro-vaccination in general (but DO NOT want to start another MMR discussion on this thread!) but I decided that he ought to have the above before he went since the diseases are horrific and prevalent where he was going.

Having said that, I thought about taking him to India when he was 2 and was much more worried then about jabs and his immature immune system. (I know his immune system is not fully formed now, but it probably is stronger than when he was 2). I asked my doctor at the time who advised that he should have them if we were going.

Don't know if this helps? You could try asking the travel expert on mumsnet about that area specifically. She was extremely helpful when I posted about India and asked whether I'd forgotten anything. And I agree, your doctor may also have some advice.

emsiewill · 22/03/2002 17:01

Sorry, I'm not going to be helpful at all, but I read the title of this thread wrongly as "Holiday JOBS for little ones". You had my mind boggling fo a while

SueDonim · 22/03/2002 19:05

Kizzy, does your doctor run a travel clinic? If so, they can be very helpful.

I'm interested about your son's jags, wickedwaterwitch. Did he have the rabies ones? My son had the rabies jags when he went to work in India for 6 mths, but I didn't when I went to visit him for a couple of weeks. I'm asking because we're going to live abroad and have a raft of jags to get. My youngest (age 6) is up to date with D/T/P but is also recommended to have Hep A & B, typhoid, BCG, and possibly rabies and Japanese Enceph. I can't decide on the risks of rabies, whether she might be scratched by an rabied animal and not tell me. It's a hard one to call. We'll only need malaria medication if we go into jungly places, which is just as well, cos it gives me a runny bottom!! (Malaria tablets, that is, not jungles!)

Ailsa · 22/03/2002 20:52


Check with your doctors surgery. we're off to Turkey in the summer and the recommended jabs were Typhoid and Hep A. We've had them just to be on the safe side, the diseases themselves are far worse than the jabs.

BTW the main side effect from the Typhoid jab is a sore arm. If you decide to have the jabs, make sure that you don't have the Typhoid jab in your writing arm.

WideWebWitch · 23/03/2002 10:25

Suedonim, no, he didn't have rabies or japanese encephalitis jabs. I did read in my Lonely Planet guide to India that these should be considered for rural India and I got myself in a right tiz about it and whether he should have them (this was when he was 2). The advice this year seemed to be not to worry about either of these two, so I didn't.

And the advice generally for India seems to be that you should take malaria tablets, regardless of whether you're going to the jungle or not. My mum has a friend who died of malaria (he was working in Africa) a year or so ago so I'm especially paranoid about it. HTH

SueDonim · 23/03/2002 11:31

Thanks WWW - I can identify with getting in a tizz, lol! We're going to live on Java, not India, but the jags routine sounds about the same. It's the more optional ones that exercise the mind, isn't it? Rabies is problematic. It's very unlikely we'll come in contact with rabies, but if you do, then it's curtains. We'll be living in Jakarta where malaria isn't a problem (they claim) but will need tablets if we go off into the countryside. The travel nurse said prevention is the best option for short term trips - oh, it's soooo difficult!

Whereabouts did you go in India? I must admit, I was very glad I didn't have a child with me when I went, as I found it overwhelming. My son was teaching in a Tibetan monastery in the jungle about 90 minutes drive from Mysore. We did the usual tourist stuff like the Taj Mahal in the north and then took a 3 day train ride to Bangalore and on to the monastery, both of which I liked, apart from the lack of electricity.

WideWebWitch · 23/03/2002 12:45

SueDonim, I didn't go, my son went with his father and grandparents (ex-dh is Indian, I'm English) They went to Ahmedabad in Gujarat, NW India. They were there while the recent riots were happening so I didn't sleep for a few days until I knew they'd made it to the airport to come back - vaccinations seemed like the least of my problems at that moment!

It was his first trip that far away from me so I was especially fraught before he went.

Would love to go though, especially the Taj Mahal, so maybe one day we'll make it. Seem to remember that Jap enchephalitis is pretty rare so you'll probably be OK. Sounds exciting moving to Java, lucky you

SueDonim · 23/03/2002 13:53

What a worry, WWW, especially with your DS being so small. I'm glad they were all safe.

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