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Travel in India

How to Get Immunizations Needed Before Traveling to India

It's best to plan a trip to India in the winter, avoiding both the blistering summer heat and monsoon season beginning in June. Take your time adjusting to the rich, spicy food and absolutely do not drink unfiltered water. Malaria is a prevalent concern in India, so plan on getting anti-malaria medication in addition to the recommend immunizations before you go.

Check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Web site to obtain the most current list of recommended immunizations and to find out how far in advance the vaccination is needed. Hepatitis A, typhoid and polio are recommended for all travelers, except infants and pregnant women. Rabies or Japanese encephalitis vaccinations may be necessary for extended trips or when there is a risk of exposure.

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine immunizations. Get the Mumps-Measles-Rubella (MMR) booster, unless pregnant, if you never received a second vaccination. Tetanus should be updated every 10 years. Individuals who risk exposure to Hepatitis B, as well as children who did not receive the series as infants, should receive this additional vaccination.

Find out the current yellow fever vaccination requirements and malaria situation for India at the World Health Organization Web site. Yellow fever and malaria are both transmitted by mosquito bites. Yellow fever is currently not a health risk in India. Malaria exists in most areas and anti-malaria medication is recommended.

Call your doctor at least two months in advance of your trip to make an appointment to receive the Hepatitis A and other routine immunizations at least four weeks before departure.

Visit your doctor to get the scheduled immunizations. An oral typhoid vaccine is available for travelers who are at least 6 years old, and an injection is approved for those over age 2. Polio only requires a booster if you received the recommended child vaccination. Get an anti-malaria drug and start taking it before your trip as directed.

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