Vaccinations for India

Vaccinations for India are essential when traveling in India and their importance increases the longer your visit. These are the recommended vaccinations for India and when you should start the treatments. The bottom three are not vital in India but if you are seriously concerned then it can't hurt.

Rabies                                              1 month before travel

Typhoid                                           10 days before travel

Hepatitis A                                        2 weeks before travel

Diphtheria                                         3 months before travel

Tuberculosis                                      3 months before travel

Hepatitis B                                        2 months before travel

Meningococcal meningitis                   1 week before travel

Yellowfever                                        10 days before travel

Japanese B encephalitis                      1 month before travel


Diphtheria is a serious throat infection, which infects from person-to-person through the air. The vaccination should be less than 10 years old otherwise a booster is needed.

Hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis)

Infectious hepatitis infects through food and water. Vaccination consists of two injections about 12 months apart, which protects for up to 20 years. The first vaccination protects for 12 months. Gamma globulin consists of purified antibodies from people who have had hepatitis A, and protects for up to 5 months. The vaccination is preferred. The hepatitis A vaccine can be combined with the vaccine against hepatitis B.


Meningitis due to meningococcus bacteria which is transmitted from person to person and through the air. The vaccine protects against infection for 3 years after 1 vaccination. There are two vaccines: One protects only against type A and C. The other protects against A, C, W135 and Y and is used for travel to Saudi Arabia (especially Hajj) and Burkina Faso.


The vaccination consists of 3 injections at day 0, 7 and 28 and must therefore start 4 weeks before departure. Vaccination protects for 5 years. If exposed to rabies, the "post-exposure" vaccinations are reduced from five to two.


Tetanus is a complication to wounds contaminated by soil. If there has been a vaccination within the past 10 years, it is not necessary to give a booster in case of wounds and accidents. Tetanus is usually given in combination with diphtheria. If you are previously vaccinated, the vaccine can be given right up to departure.


Typhoid is the most serious of the Salmonella infections. There are two types of vaccine: 1. Vaccine for injection. 1 vaccination protect up to 3 years. 2. A live vaccine in capsules, which is swallowed. Three capsules are taken 2 days apart and provide protection for a year.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis is caused by a virus spread by mosquitoes. Vaccination consists of 3 injections with 2 weeks apart and protects for up to 2 years. Vaccination should start 4 weeks before departure. Travelers whose visits are restricted to major urban areas, are at lower risk for acquiring JE and generally should not be advised to receive the vaccine.

If you want to, you can go to a specialist travel clinic and pay over the odds to be vaccinated or head to your GP. Some surgeries will offer free vaccinations for India but others you may have pay for and can cost up to 100... each.

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