Vaccines to take before traveling to India

When it comes to traveling down to India for a vacation, everyone tends to get excited and makes a whole bunch of lists of what to do, where to visit and what to eat. In all this, it is also essential to remember one important list – the list of vaccines to take before you travel to India.

Seeing the whole list of Vaccines to take before traveling to India can be daunting so allow me to clarify a few points here. Some of these drugs are specific to certain areas of India where the disease has a greater incidence and thus, need not be taken if you are not visiting those states or cities. 

The Vaccines to take before traveling to India

Even today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remains the standard to track protocols for most diseases so that is what I have followed while researching for this post as well.

We shall divide the list of vaccines into two broad categories:

Routine Vaccines

This is the list of vaccines that are usually given to you during the first years of your life and thus do not need to be repeated. If you have not had them, it is wise to get them taken after consultation with your family physician.

These drugs include:

  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
  • Polio
  • DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus)

Specific to Traveling in India 

The main risk factors for the disease are noted in brackets

  • Cholera (contaminated food and water)
  • Typhoid (contaminated food and water)
  • Hepatitis A (contaminated food, poor hygiene)
  • Hepatitis B (injection use, contaminated tattoo instruments)
  • Japanese Encephalitis (areas with risk of infected mosquitoes)
  • Malaria  (areas with risk of infected mosquitoes)
  • Rabies (especially in outdoor activities or is likely to be bitten by animals)

I know it is scary seeing the list of all those potential injections but the fact is your health matters. Most of these are preventable diseases and vaccines play a major role in that. So I do hope you will save this list for future reference when you plan your next trip to India.

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Anaesthesiologist Dr. Roshan Radhakrishnan is a guest writer for The Wandering Core. He believes in the healing power of love and laughter but practices medicine just to be on the safe side. A winner of Write India Season One, India’s largest crowd-sourced literary competition, he also has a trophy for ‘Best Blog in India for Creative Writing’ awarded to his blog, Godyears at the Country’s First Live Blogging Conference and Awards Ceremony. Over 20 of his short stories have found their way into anthologies over the years.

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  1. I don’t think there is a risk for acquiring Yellow fever in India !

    1. Shibu S. says:

      Is it? I’ll clarify with Dr. Roshan Radhakrishnan on that matter then! Thanks for bringing it to my notice.

      1. Please do so !

  2. This is a very useful and practical post, Shibu! I will try to bear your tips in mind whenever planning to go to India. Well done!

  3. Very well researched and important info Doc

  4. Great Info Doctor. I was looking for this info to inform a friend of mine, so in that way I can help her in any way possible from my end. I am going to share it with here right away. 🙂

  5. Very informative post. Being an Indian, I’ve mostly not bothered about the 2nd set of vaccines. Guess we have a natural resistance towards these! But for foreigners, these would definitely be necessary.

  6. I must confess I traveled around India for 6 months and never had any vaccines before traveling. I didn’t know it was a yellow fever country! I think I should consider the rabies vaccine if I visit again – those street monkeys are pretty aggressive!

  7. Zainab says:

    Being and staying in India never thought of what others would need when they make a trip to India! Nice list 🙂

  8. Marjie Mare says:

    Great info, I am sure a lot of travelers are unaware of certain requirements before traveling.

  9. Abhinav Singh says:

    Nice. Being an Indian I never thought about this. But many foreigners might be prone to diseases in different nations. I am glad you mentioned about this in this post. It is an informative blog.

    1. Thank you 🙂

  10. Bailey says:

    I had no idea that all of these illnesses were possible from travelling to India. Thanks for the head’s up! I hate needles but you’re right, Health is super important. Bookmarking this to reference if I book a trip there!

    1. I also don’t like needles. But it’s important to have some precautions beforehand!!

  11. I am organizing a trip to India for the next year. So I am busy googling here and there, to find good information. Finally, I pop in your web and I found what I was looking for. Simple, clear, easy to read information without getting lost in superfluous details. Really thanks, it was really helpful

    1. Thank you 🙂 Glad you liked the information!

    2. Glad to know you liked the information 🙂

  12. Carolina Colborn says:

    Thanks for your warnings! I have not traveled to India at all. It would be extremely more helpful if you help us identify which ones are for which specific tourist destinations in India! Thanks again!

    1. Sure will try to update more on the region-specific precautions needed 🙂

  13. That is some list! I will be the odd one out and say I was never vaccinated as a child and have been super healthy my entire life! I had chicken pox and measles as a kid, yay for natural immunity! I’ve been all over the world without issues. These are all suggestions but not requirements. Very few countries actually require proof of any vaccines, they are merely suggestions. That’s important for readers to know! No disrespect, just a subject I’m super passionate about! <3

    1. Wow you’re truly lucky 🙂 I hated needles back then but like my precautions now!!

  14. This was a nice, concise list of the vaccines needed to travel to India. Thank you! It actually looks pretty similar to what I had to get before going to Thailand, except I didn’t have enough time for the rabies shots. I just stayed away from the monkeys- it was fine!

    1. Thanks so much. So glad you find this list helpful!

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