When you start planning your trip to India and sit down to make a to-do list, put "call doctor for vaccine appointment" at the top of the list. Then don't put it off.
According to the CDC, you need to start your immunizations at least four to six weeks before you plan to leave. That way the vaccines will have time to become effective. And you'll also be able to start taking preventive medicines for diseases that don't have vaccines, such as malaria.
Keeping up-to-date with your immunizations can be difficult. From when you had your last tetanus booster to whether you should get the flu vaccine, it's easy to lose track of which vaccinations you've had and which you need.
But you should keep tabs on your immunization history. Better to do it now than wait until after you step on that rusty nail or find yourself with adult chickenpox.
Following is a rundown of the vaccinations recommended in the CDC's Adult Immunization Schedule for 2010.
Here's an overview of the vaccines you may need before you leave for India. Keep in mind that the actual vaccinations you need will be determined by several factors that you and your health care provider should review together.
Deciding What Vaccines to Get
To determine what vaccines you need, your health care provider will:
Consider your current health and health history
Review your immunization records
Evaluate your itinerary
Then he or she will let you know exactly what vaccines you need and where you can get them.
The list of vaccines will be based on:
Your health status
How current your immunizations are
Where you are planning to go in the countries you are visiting
What you're likely to do while you're there
Staying Up to Date on U.S. Vaccines
Your doctor will review your immunization record to make sure you are up to date on the standard vaccines and booster shots that people in the U.S. should have. That includes immunizations for:
You'll also possibly need a tetanus booster shot. And it's important to make sure that your flu shot is current.
Vaccines for India
Here are vaccines you may need for travel to India:
Hepatitis A. This disease can be transmitted through food and water. The risk for Hepatitis A in India is high. So, immunization is highly recommended.
Hepatitis B. There is an intermediate risk for hepatitis B in India. Hepatitis B is a viral infection that can be transmitted by contact with blood and other bodily fluids. That means you could potentially be exposed through: