Nov 19

Havrix Hepatitis A Vaccine as sold in Goa, IndiaLiving in Asia the past 6 years, I regularly try to stay up-to-date with Immunizations and precautions. As a pampered and spoiled European you naturally don’t have the immune system or the antibodies to fight diseases like Hepatitis, Typhoid, Polio, Malaria or Dengue.

Not that it’s recommended you do that at all.

But while you can’t take Malaria prophylaxis like Lariam, Malarone or Doxycycline over all the years you want to live here (some mosquitos anyway develop a resistance to it and it’s better to use precautions not to be bitten at all), you can do something about diseases like Hepatitis.

I recently read that over 90% of Adults in India carry already the antibodies for Hepatitis A in their blood, due to the fact that they are exposed to it from early childhood.

While Hepatitis B can only be transmitted by body fluids, through blood transmissions, sharing of contaminated needles or unprotected sexual intercourse; Hepatitis A is transmitted when fecal particles are passed into food or drinking water.

Unhealthy Toilet Habits

From what I see, that is the case regularly in India and other developing countries. Hygienic conditions are sub-par and don’t get me wrong, but restroom habits are anything but safe here.

I mean, there is usually no toilet paper nor even soap to wash your hands properly after you’re done. I have nothing against squat toilets and can even see why some people prefer them as the better, more natural way, but honestly, there is a way higher danger of contamination with viruses and bacterias through them.

After using the toilet, people go naturally back into the kitchen and believe you me, sometimes you really don’t want to know, what’s in store there for you.

In other places water pipes lead right through sewage systems, which just need a small leak or less than optimal maintenance.

So why not making sure, that whatever comes into your stomach will be properly dealt with?

It’s as easy as taking one small shot of Hepatitis A vaccine. You develop an immunization within 2-4 weeks after, which will last for 1-2 years. When you add another booster about 6-12 months after the first shot, it will even protect you for up to 10 years.

Havrix Hepatitis A Vaccine is very affordable in IndiaI was already looking in Bali for Hepatitis A caccine for quite some time, but they always only had Hepatitis B or some Immune System boosters for anything above Rp. 1.5 Mio, which is USD165/Euro 125.

No Hep A Vaccine far and wide, only in BIMC, an Australian-run hospital, where it would’ve cost you an arm and a leg, so I even forgot how much it was.

Basically they usually sell the Vaccine under the most common brand names like Havrix, Avaxim or Biovac A in most countries around the globe. It shouldn’t be too difficult to get it wherever you travel right now.

In Singapore they had it, but still for something around USD 150/Euro 110, so we decided to get it done here in India.

To cut a long story short: in the Vrundavan Hospital in Mapusa in North Goa, the whole procedure took less than 10 minutes to complete. You can buy one Adult Dose for Rs 1.650 (USD 33/Euro 27) in the attached pharmacy and get it administered by a doctor into your arm muscle even free of charge!

You just have to pay another Rs 4 for your own, new and unused syringe.

That surely won’t be a problem? ;-)

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written by Chris

5 Responses to “Keeping up-to-date with Hepatitis Vaccination in India”

  1. MikeNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    HELLO, glad found your way to Mapusa (pronounced Mapsa, nice and easy to say, no doubt found out). Its the nearest thing to a capital town in North Goa, thousands and thousands of tourists have never heard of it, never mind travelled to it. But its only about half hours travel on a motor scooter from the coast/ Its worth going just for the market if nothing else. The hospital;? I know where it is but I must admit never considered any vacinations there, I have always had them in the U.K. or taken, I suppose, a chance. I.m not particularly proud of that. Mike

  2. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Yup, I found a lot of things there can be had cheaper than in the tourist belt around Calangute. Bought a helmet there for only Rs 200 and tried 2 restaurants, same good quality, but the costs maybe only a third. Nice! And the hospital was good, quick and very effective. What more to ask?

    Besides its closer proximity, Mapusa appears a bit too rundown for my taste, I prefer the capital Panaji, what a charming city! And they have a cinema, just watched ‘Quantum of Solace’ there. :D

    Anyway – both are nice to explore via motor scooter, so yeah, it’s definitely worth to see some of the hinterland of Goa as well.

  3. jeremy widdupNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Hi Chris – I am just making arrangement to travel to Goa 6 months and then Philippines / Indonesia for same amount of time.

    – I am getting Hepetitus (A & B) injections – The health centre here in UK also recommend I have Rabies & Japanees encephalitis Vaccination….are these necessary (did you have any)?

    Also I read your point about malaria tablets – And not possible for you to take them for years – Is this because it becomes very expensive or is it some other reason?

    – The health centre recommended that I take malaria tablets every day while I’m away, but I was not convinced that this is practicle especially after I found the price to be very expensive. What are your thoughts on the risks?

    Thanks & keep up the great blog!


  4. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Jeremy Widdup, if you only travel for a short time, nothing speaks against Malaria tablets. But if you stay in an area for many months or even years, I would recommend against it, due to the serious side effects of those strong medicines alone. A better and also cheaper way is preventing to get bitten by mosquitoes. Most Malaria cases happen anyway in the poorer population, who have no money or knowledge where its coming from, thus not using mosquito spray, nets or creme to prevent being bitten.

    I’m no doctor though and I know, that my opinion is controversial for this topic, but I simply don’t see a point stuffing medicine with heavy side-effects into my body for a long period of time.

    Regarding vaccinations, I can’t comment on the area and type of vaccinations you should take, here I would rely on the information of your tropical institute of your home country and its recommended vaccinations.

    Have a nice trip! ;-)

  5. jeremy widdupNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Thanks Chris – Good point about the side effects being serious – When you hear all the stuff you should do – it would stop anyone in their journey.

    Quick further question: I’m running an online business while I travel using live videocast – Is there enough bandwidth outside of capital cities (0.5Mbps – upstream) if I look hard enough?

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