I have two girls, ages 2 & 4, and we are traveling to really rural Mexico this spring to stay with family. My older daughter was born there, and was required to get some vaccines (TB at 1 day old, for example) - but the baby was born in the US and does not have any vaccines as of yet. We will be in contact with livestock, will be swimming in lagunas & the ocean, eating raw cheeses & other dairy products, and generally living like the locals.
I can't wait to get back there, it's so great!
I was wondering if you can give me any recommendations regarding what vaccines my girls *should* have before heading south. I know that lots of long gone diseases here are still endemic there (polio, for one) & I contracted hemorrhagic Dengue while living there, but I'd rather not give them vaccines unless the risk actually justifies them.
Polio is no longer there - hasn't been for many years. As for the rest, that's not a question I'd like to answer on this forum. In general, I tell people they don't have to vaccinate for vacation travel. This, however, is more exposure than normal vacation travel would be. I don't know enough about the diseases where you are going. Here's what you could do. Look at the CDC site for disease info where you are going. Contact your family there and find out if there's real risk of those diseases there. Then post here again and let me know if there are risks, and I can comment on any specific vaccines may apply.
Hi Dr. Sears,
How great that this is an active and recent thread! I had a similar question regarding the current campaign in Mexico to give all kids under age five oral drops for polio. I think the brand is Sabin.
My question is: if my 10 month old daughter is already getting the scheduled vaccine called Pentavalente by Sanofipasteur (the current vaccine is for pertussis, tetanus, diptheria, polio and Hib) do I need to get her the drops as well? It just seems like double dosing on the polio - but this is the current recommendation by the Mexican government: 4 rounds of Pentavalente and the drops.
the ONLY reason to get the oral polio drops is if polio is coming back to Mexico. So far, I have not heard anything about polio coming back to any part of North America, Central, or South America. So, I would not recommend the oral polio if you've already had the injected polio. If I am wrong, and polio IS coming back, then I am not sure the best course of action. Those with the injected series can still catch the germ, and spread it, BUT they won't feel sick from it because the injection prevents polio from invading internally. Those with the oral polio won't catch or spread the germ. So, if polio IS coming back, then oral polio is a better solution. But I don't think it is. IF it is, I don't know if doctors will only recommend ONE oral dose for those who already had injected, or if they will recommend the whole oral series. I just don't know.