Going to university abroad can be quite a daunting time for young students. With many leaving home for the first time and trying to remember to pack all the essentials, it can be easy to forget some of the more important things to do. Researching the health and safety concerns of your destination country is a crucial step in planning for a successful stay abroad. Before you go, consult Medical professionals in your area to find out the specific vaccinations you may required to have, before entering your host country or countries in which you wish to travel.
What vaccinations should I get?
One of the commonly asked questions by the students is “What vaccinations should I get for my semester abroad?” While there is no perfect answer for the question, as there is slightly differing vaccination recommendations from country to country. Documentation of all vaccinations may be required at your host university and that should be recorded as per existing WHO norms. Health cards or forms that are not properly stamped are not accepted by universities in many countries. Most of the American and European universities have ‘University Immunization Form’ which must be submitted in its original format. Students must complete the form and have it signed and stamped by a medical provider. Most of western universities permit students to register for classes even if the students are in the process of completing any of the vaccines that require multiple doses. However, they may terminate your studies if you do not complete the immunization schedule. Some universities may grant an exemption from the mandatory immunization requirement due to medical reasons or due to religious beliefs.
So what can I do if I cannot access my prior immunization records?
There are two ways to establish your vaccination history. Vaccination records from your physician will be sufficient in most cases. When those records are not available, having your blood titres drawn will provide the documentation you need. The tests will check your immune status to vaccinations or diseases you have received in the past. Positive titres result means that you have ample immunity to a particular infectious disease. Therefore, you don’t require getting that particular vaccine. However, when your titre results are negative, you may have to get the vaccinations your school or university requires. Please plan accordingly as the reports of these tests can often take a few days.
Types of vaccinations for international students
The three categories of vaccines to consider are required, routine and recommended
The yellow fever vaccine is an example of a required vaccination and it is required for entry into parts of South America and Africa. Japanese encephalitis is prevalent in Southeast Asia. Both diseases are mosquito-borne. Hepatitis B or rabies vaccinations may be required depending on the type of travel and activities the students are doing. Smallpox is officially declared eradicated by the World Health Organization. However, country regulations change often, so a vaccination may be required.
This differs with respect to countries. For example, any student attending higher education in the USA is required to submit proofs for vaccinations or lab report confirming immunity.
- Two vaccinations against MMR- Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
- 3 or 4 series of Hepatitis B shots administered over a 6 month period. Students who received the Hepatitis B shots in a different administration schedule should also present titre results proving immunity.
- One tetanus/ Diphtheria booster given within the past ten years
- Students residing on campus should be immunized against meningocccal meningitis
- The polio vaccination remains one of the routine vaccinations in US. Four (4) doses of IPV or OPV.Required for students who will be younger than 18
- Two doses of varicella ( chicken pox vaccine ) to be given.
Recommended (but not mandatory) vaccinations:
These include the classic travel vaccines for most developing countries where the health infrastructure is poor such as typhoid vaccine. Some European universities recommend that all female students to take the HPV (Cervical Cancer) vaccination.
How should I plan my vaccination schedule?
- You should plan appointments in advance, since many vaccinations require more than one visit to a clinic or cannot be taken together.
- If you plan to travel outside your destination country or to several regions within that country, check the health requirements for those additional places. There are some countries or regions for which you may need extra immunizations, or where you may need to take additional precautions for the handling and consumption of certain foods and/or water.
- Students have to visit a reputed travel clinic at least six to eight weeks before they travel, because some medications need to be started early and some vaccines are a series of vaccines. Hepatitis A, Tetanus, typhoid, yellow fever, and the meningococcal vaccine are all single-dose vaccines, but Hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, and rabies vaccines require multiple shots.
- Always seek advice from the travel clinic at least a month prior to travel to ensure that vaccinations and other medications, like malaria pills have enough time to be effective.
- If you depart in less than four weeks, you should still visit the travel clinic. You might benefit from shots or medications and your doctor will advise you of the precautionary measures while taking the trip.
Fayth Clinic provides the best immunization/vaccination program in Mumbai. It is very important to take vaccination before going to abroad for studying. You can get the best and effective vaccination and medical certification from Fayth Clinic. To get more details of immunization for students going abroad, please contact us…..
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