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Travel Vaccinations for India
The table below provides a general guide as to the Travel Vaccinations that may be advised to you for travel to India
Recommended Vaccinations for India at a Glance
All Travellers: MMR, DTaP
Most Travellers: Typhoid, Hepatitis A
Some Travellers: Cholera, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies
|Vaccination||Major Risk Factors||Course||Price|
|MMR||Person-to-Person||Course of Two||£60|
|Hepatitis A||Person-to-Person||Single Dose||£86|
|Cholera||Person-to-Person||Course of Two||£47.50|
|Hepatitis B||Person-to-Person||Course of Three||£66|
|Japanese Encephalitis||Person-to-Person||Course of Two||£151|
|Rabies||Person-to-Person||Course of Three - intramuscular||£66|
Advice for Travellers to all Destinations
The Vaccinations and Medications that are needed for travel vary from person-to-person. Everyone should have a personal risk assessment with a travel health professional to take into account a range of factors such as itinerary, medical condition, occupational and lifestyle risk factors and previous vaccination history.
All Travellers should ensure that they are up-to-date with Routine Vaccinations including Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio and Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
Most travellers will also need to consider a course or booster of Hepatitis A and Typhoid as there is a risk of these diseases across most parts of the world.
Some Travellers may also be advised additional vaccinations such as Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis and Hepatitis B based on their individual risk assessment.
Risk of Malaria in India
Malaria is spread by the plasmodium parasite passed to humans from the bite of an anopheles mosquito. Malaria is a serious illness with symptoms include fever, chills, sweats and flu like symptoms. In severe cases, malaria can be fatal. There isn’t currently a vaccine available for our travellers, although there are other ways to protect yourself, see Malaria Information for Travellers.
The current malaria map, issued by Health Protection Scotland and followed by the NHS, shows the areas of high risk. These are the states of Assam and Orissa and the districts of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Amini in Arunachal Pradesh, North and South Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Mangalore city. Central Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh are considered low risk for most travellers – seek advice from our nurses if you are going there.
In all other areas of India, including the major cities, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Goa and Kerala there is low to no risk. Travellers are advised, however, to be risk assessed for travel to any part of India.
Travellers to areas where there is a Risk of Malaria should get advice regarding Malaria Medication which can be taken to help stop the illness from developing. The type of medication required depends on your destination, itinerary, length of stay and current medical condition. Further reduce the risk of by practicing mosquito Bite Avoidance by using Insect Repellent such as DEET 50% and covering exposed skin by wearing long sleeves and trousers.
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Further Travel Health Advice for India
India is a huge country and its climate is diverse, ranging from tropical wet, tropical semi-arid, sub-tropical and alpine. Generally, summer is March to May and temperatures throughout the country regularly reach 40 degrees. There is little respite from the extreme dry sunny heat during this time. Temperatures will be slightly cooler in the south of the country however the humidity will be much higher. Remember to protect yourself against dehydration by drinking plenty of bottled water. Avoid sunburn and heatstroke by wearing sunscreen (the higher the SPF rating the better, ideally 30+), staying in the shade between 11am and 3pm and wearing sunglasses and a hat.
Towards the end of May the monsoon starts to build, with rising humidity, thunder and dust storms. By July rain will have covered most of the country and will continue until around October. The winter season that follows, from November to February is the most comfortable time to visit India and the most popular with tourists.
Drink only bottled water in India. Use it for brushing your teeth and avoid ice cubes. Recommended bottled water brands in India are Aquafina, Bisleri and Kinley which all come in a range of shapes and sizes. Check the seal on the bottle before you drink it as some stalls will resell unclean water in used bottles. It is best to crush your plastic bottle after use to avoid it being used for this purpose. Some hotels will also provide complementary drinking water in glass bottles, which is also best to avoid. The Telegraph have an excellent insider’s guide on trustworthy places to stay.
Most people that travel to India are likely to experience Travellers Diarrhoea at some point of their journey, ranging from a mild case of Delhi Belly to severe diarrhoea. One of the biggest risk factors that contributes to travellers diarrhoea is through the food that you eat.
India has a national health care system. Cities and tourist areas provide good health care services. Be sure you have enough money with you to pay for any health care you might need.
Should you be planning on travelling to areas of high altitude, including the Himalayas, you need to be aware of altitude sickness. You can obtain altitude sickness medication and practice appropriate acclimatisation and gradual ascents to counter altitude sickness.
Accidents can and do happen. Do ensure that you have taken out adequate and comprehensive travel insurance before your departure to India. Make sure that your policy includes medical evacuation as well as any adventure activities that you might be planning such as scuba diving and rock climbing.
Animal bites expose you to a range of infections including Rabies. Street dogs, cats, bats and rodents are common throughout the cities and rural areas of India. If you get bitten or scratched you will need to get urgent medical attention.
Insect bites expose travellers to many diseases in India including Dengue Fever, Malaria and Japanese Encephalitis. Take steps to avoid insect bites including wearing insect repellant such as DEET 50% and covering areas of exposed skin with long sleeves and trousers.
Practice good personal hygiene to avoid travellers diarrhoea in India. Use alcohol gel, wash your hands regularly and monitor what you are putting in your mouth.
There have also been terrorist attacks in recent years in a number of cities including Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai, some of which have targeted westerners in particular. Travellers are advised to keep up-to-date with government travel advice when planning travel to these areas.
Due to the ongoing dispute over Kashmir, travellers should get advice from their consulate before visiting any of the areas bordering Pakistan as well as Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura.