ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Immunizations for Indians before enrollment in US universities

Updated on June 15, 2009

Recommended immunizations and medical checkup for Indians before enrollment in US universities are:

Hepatitis B or A/B combination:

The Hepatitis B vaccine was developed a few years back, so we definitely have not been administered this. For all of us who have taken this vaccine, great. You are safe against this potentially fatal disease. For those of you who have not taken this, you can take this now. It is a 6-month course of 3 doses - 0, 1 month and 6 months but do not even think of getting the vaccine in the US unless you have really deep pockets.

Varicella (chicken pox):

Most of us may have had chicken pox in our childhood. Once it occurs, a person gets life-long immunity. The university form has a provision for this - immunity by positive blood titer. I would advise you to undergo a blood test to prove that you had chicken pox before. The test is called "Varicella Zoster IgG" and can be done from any diagnostic center. You can get it done at SRL Religare (Ranbaxy) and the cost is approximately 1750 INR. You can get the result in 2-3 days.

Tuberculin Skin Test [PPD]:

Now, this test is tricky. The tuberculosis vaccine we get as a baby is the BCG in which a small amount of live tuberculosis virus is injected in the body. Our body develops antibodies to the virus and we become immune. But the university form asks for a skin test, which is called the Mantoux test. The Mantoux test involves injecting a small amount of medicine under the skin of the forearm. (I know it sounds painful but it is not.) Then we have to ensure that the area around the medicine is not contaminated by soap, shampoo, or even excess sweat. A rash will develop around the area. There are two readings taken after 48 hours and 72 hours. A person will check the diameter of the rash with a ruler. If the diameter of the rash is more than 8-10 mm, the result is positive (positive is bad in this case). Then you will have to get a chest x-ray done.

Now, there could be some minor side effects of the Mantoux injection. Some people experience weakness for a while. So, better take some Glucon D in a bottle to drink after the injection. The rash will mostly be a small one. DON'T freak out if it's a big rash. As I had said, BCG is a live tuberculosis virus, so Indians may test +ve. Don't worry. Get a chest x-ray done. The Mantoux test costs Rs. 200/- at Dr. Suri Lab Pvt. Ltd. and SRL Religare.

Meningococcal vaccine:

This is mentioned separately so you may think that it is important. First of all, meningitis is caused by bacteria or virus. Meningococcal vaccine means immunization against the bacterial strain. However, there are many strains of bacteria.

The meningococcal vaccine is administered on your arm, near the place where you have had your BCG vaccine done as a child. The local brand of vaccine available is Quadri Meningo. It is same in composition as Menomune which is mentioned in the university medical form, so you can take that and tick the menomune option. Get it done you're your physician. That is more than sufficient. That part of your arm will hurt like a normal muscular pain. Not a problem.

Optional immunizations:

These are optional, so it is up to you to have them or not. However, the haemophilus influenza type b (HIV-B) is an infectious and fatal one. It is a type of pneumonia and has no cure. So you may take the vaccine. This is not to be confused with the AIDS virus, it s a different one.

Now you must be thinking: "Why should I go through all this trouble if I can just get my doctor's sign on the form?".

The answer is "Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.".

Any medical checkup in the US is extremely costly. If you are asked for immunization proof after going there, it will burn a deep hole in your pocket, so it is better to be prepared. The first page of the university immunization form says that you have to attach proofs of immunizations, so, in my opinion, get these tests done here in India rather than getting them done later in US.

Medical checkup:

Get a general medical checkup done before going. A thorough dental checkup is absolutely necessary. The cost of a root canal in the US is so much that if you can return to India, get it done here and travel back to US, it will still be cheaper. So, don't risk your health and your money by ignoring the immunizations and checkup.

Hope this information is useful. If you have any doubts, feel free to ask me. I will try to answer them.

For DTP, one dose must be taken within last ten years. Most of us would have received these doses before age of 3. You have to take one dose of that and it costs around 750 INR.

For MMR (mumps measles and rubella), you either have to prove by serological testing that you have antibodies for MMR or you should be more than 50 years old. Serological testing will cost you around 2500 INR. And if you take one dose (MMR is given combined) it will cost you 350 INR, so it is better to take a dose.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Adarsh Kathiresan 

      7 years ago

      Should the records cm from Government hospitals only ?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      thanks a lot .. it is very useful information

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      It's my pleasure Karthik.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Soni - thanks a ton - this helped me a lot.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      nope not a physician , it would be a certified panel doctor from the consulate

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      r these tests to be done only by the government institutes or can be given by our own physicians.

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      10 years ago from New Delhi, India

      yes you are right madhav

    • Kmadhav profile image


      10 years ago from New delhi

      these tests are the benefit for student's own health....and there is a formal process for getting visa and other formalities....


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)