Question: Do you think I need to get the JE vaccine here in the United States before coming to visit Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur? Can I get it in India?
Ans. Let me start with the easier answer first. JE vaccine is presently not available in the private sector in India. You can get it at certain government centers, but these can be difficult to access for the lay traveler.
Here are the recommendations for the Japanese Encephalitis disease in India.
As per CDC …
“Recommended if you plan to visit rural farming areas and under special circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis”
As per MDtravelhealth
“For travelers who may spend a month or more in rural areas and for short-term travelers who may spend substantial time outdoors in rural areas, especially after dusk“
As per our experience, JE is far more common in rural North Indian states (referring to the proximity of areas that you are traveling), especially Northwest Uttar Pradesh and parts of Haryana.And here is the detailed information about the (country-specific) as per CDC
“Human cases reported from all states except Dadra, Daman, Diu, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Meghalaya, Nagar Haveli, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Sikkim. Most human cases reported May–October, especially in northern India; the season may be extended or year-round in some areas, especially in southern India.Highest rates of human disease reported from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal”
Given all this information, JE not a high priority vaccine as per our experience, given the urban areas and the short term nature of your trip.
Dr Gaurav Gupta
MD, TravelSafe Clinic
Director, Charak Clinics
Member American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Member International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM)
Member American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (ASTMH)
Member Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP)
Member British & Global Travel Health Association (BGTHA)
Member International Association of Medical Assistance to travelers (IAMAT)
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