Thursday, 7 September 2017

Vaccinations for India

Recommended Vaccines for India:
Hepatitis A

Other vaccines to consider:
Hepatitis B
Japanese Encephalitis

I am studying this vaccines and taking care to understand the risks prior to taking my toddler to India.
My husband is native from India and has been vaccinated as a child, but will not have any vaccines.
I am native from Brasil, was vaccinated as a child, but will not have any vaccines.
My toddler will be 23 months old when travelling to India. To date, she is unvaccinated.

update January 2018: we traveled to India for 3 weeks staying in Mumbai. We did NOT vaccinate ourselves or our daughter. I was 5 months pregnant at the time. We did visit a rural area with rice paddies near Mumbai and only used insect repellent as our protection against mosquitoes and a net when sleeping for my child. My daughter and husband were sick for a few days with tummy ache and we put it down to rich and oily food we had at a wedding. Otherwise everything was fine, and she remains unvaccinated.
Please do your own research before making a informed decision about vaccinations. 

Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is a mild, self limiting disease, resolving on its own with no treatment in 4-8 weeks.
This disease is so mild that 90% of kids who get hepatitis A never even know it.
Type A hepatitis disappears completely after acute infection, and does not contribute to chronic liver disease or to cirrhosis. It is important to note that after the patient recovers, he has lifetime immunity. True immunity.
hepatitis A is a disease seen in areas of poor hygiene and if you are staying in a four or five star hotel you would be very unlucky to be exposed to it. Even if you were, hepatitis A is a very much milder infection in children than in adults and although they would have a flu-like infection for a short while, they would then have life-long protective immunity for the future. Most travel clinics therefore do not recommend it.

75% of people affected with cholera will have no or mild symptoms and the illness is self limiting.
In healthy travellers, the illness is most likely to be mild.
More severe illness is more likely in those who live in poverty and are unable to access safe water and food.
More severe illness is more likely in those with underying health problems such as immunosuppression, liver disease or malnutrition.
In more severe disease, rapid onset of watery diarrhoea and vomiting can lead to extreme dehydration. For severe illness medical attention should be urgently as individuals can die quickly if they are not treated promptly with intravenous fluid replacement.
A vaccine is available to protect against cholera but as the risk to most travellers is very low, it is only recommended in the following circumstances:
Volunteers/aid workers/medical personnel in disaster relief situations where cholera outbreaks likely.
Those travelling to work in slums/refugee camps, areas affected by natural disasters, or countries experiencing cholera outbreaks and where care with food and water is difficult or not possible.

japanese encephalitis
Most JE virus infections are mild or without apparent symptoms. However, one in 250 infections result in severe clinical illness, according to the World Health Organisation. 
I have checked online, and Mumbai has no recorded cases of Japanese Encephalitis. It is common on rural areas and rice paddies locations, therefore as we are not visiting those areas, it is not a risk.

For this vaccine, I am considering IF any of us would actually be bitten by an animal versus having access to medical treatment. We going to the city, and although Mumbai does have a lot of animals in the city itself, I think the changes of getting bitten by an animal are very low, and IF it happened, we do have access to hospitals, insurances and treatments. So the risks of taking the vaccines are higher than the benefits it may provide considering the big IF it would happened.

Children with typhoid fever tend to have milder symptoms than adults.
With prompt antibiotic treatment, most people will start to feel better within a few days and serious complications are very rare.
It also isn't usually recommended for children under six, whereas children can have the Vi vaccine from two years of age.
India is considered high risk, but despised the assumption from many people that India is dirty, I have been there and the standards of hygiene are higher than in the UK. Just like Brazil, India also gets this reputation of not being clean, or having sanitation problems, sadly that is true in the very poor areas, but it is very unfair to say that the entire country has a issue. 
My toddlers is under 2, so it does not apply. But if I was only visiting family, I would not even consider taking it. We have access to sanitation and clean water. However I would be careful if or when eating outside. 
As we are going for a wedding and will be in contact with more people than just family, I will discuss this vaccine and the risks with my doctor and consider whether or not to give the single injection Vi Vaccine to my toddler at 22 months old prior to going to India.
If we choose not to vaccinate, should anyone actually have typhoid fever, it can be treated with antibiotics.

Hepatitis B
I don't expect my toddler to go around inject drugs or having unprotected sex with multiple sexual partners.
Yet the UK government has now added this vaccine to the children's vaccine schedule. From all the side effects of vaccines I have studied, this one is the worst. I cannot see why anyone would considers giving a vaccine with so many risks to a child that is not at risk of having the diseases. 
This vaccine was created in the US specifically for drug users and prostitutes. Then the sales team approached these people to sell them the vaccine. But, what a shocker, it turns out the drug users would rather use their money to buy more drugs them to spend their money buying vaccines, and the prostitutes could not care even less. But them someone had this brilliant idea of selling the vaccine to the government and marketing for babies. 
It just so amazing how Big Pharma can still get the profits no matter the cost to our kid's health. 

This is the only vaccine I am considering giving to my toddler. But you cannot have diphtheria vaccine on its own on the NHS. It comes as part of the 6-in-1 new vaccine that contains that Hep B very bad side effects. The 5-in-1 vaccine may still be available as it is being phased out at the moment, so my toddler may have this one if we decide to go ahead with it. 
Otherwise there is a low dose Diphtheria vaccine that is usually given to 3 years old, if the 5-in-1 is not available, and I still want to give her the vaccine, I would ask for the 4-in-1 Infrarix IPV.
  • The Revaris vaccine (3-in-1 dT/IPV - low dose diphtheria, tetanus, polio) is not to be given as first vaccine to under 6 years old.
  • The Repavax vaccine (4-in-1 dTaP/IPV - low dose diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio) is given to children from 3 years old.
  • The Infrarix IPV vaccine (4-in-1 dTaP/IPV - low dose diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio) can be given from 16 months old. However, booster doses of Infrarix may increase the risks of reactions. 
Just like Rabies. What are the changes of actually getting Tetanus, and IF so, can we get to a hospital to receive treatment. So the risk of Tetanus is low, and our chances of having access to hospital is high. 
Also, studies on Tetanus have found spores of the bacteria in wounds without producing any tetanus. Under normal conditions, no diseases will occur. 
My mother had tetanus as a child, her family did not have the means to treat her in hospital, so they treated at home with home made natural cures. Of course, if any of us would get hurt with something dirty like a rust nail, we would go to hospital and ask for treatment. 

NOTE: vaccines doses and boosters
Many vaccines have 2 or 3 doses that are sometimes given 1 month apart. What they do not tell you, is that it can be given 6 months apart. Always read the Patient Leaf Information (PIL) for each vaccine, you can find the links on the NHS website for each vaccine. 
Many doctors that speak against vaccine explain that many of the problems we are having these days with vaccines side effects is due to giving so many vaccines together. The NHS claims that is safe to give many at once, but no studies have been carried out to prove this. They say babies are OK with dealing will all this things at once, but remember, nobody catches diphtheria, tatanus, whooping cough, polio, Hib B and Hepatitis B all at the same time. 

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