Do you get a Hepatitis shot before going to the Caribbean?

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#1
Canada
222 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
My family doctor said we should get ourselves and the kids Hep A & B shots before our cruise (going in August to Mexico, Belize and Hondorus). Just wondering how many others get theirs before travelling to these areas?
#3
NJ
5,660 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
nope... the majority of ports you'd visit are pretty tourist-friendly and it's not likely that you'd come into contact with too many instances where you'd have the chance for transmission of diseases...

when i talked to my doctor about a trip to india, a third world country, we discussed what i'd be doing there (hotel to office, repeat, etc.), not coming into contact with livestock, dirt, refuse, or having 'relations' with the locals, etc.

and the only thing that we decided was really worthwhile was the flu and swine flu shots, and that was more out of concern for the 20+ hours i'd be on a plane each way... i'm flu-proof
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#5
alberta/canada
28 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
My whole family got theirs, kids in Canada get theirs automatically when they are in grade 6. You can get Hep b from water, icecubes or even stepping on a piece of glass in the Carribean. Better safe than sorry
#7
B - Ohio, R - Ohio, L - Texas
19,796 Posts
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Tetnus shot/booster is not a bad idea either (IMHO).
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#9
Prairie Village, KS
890 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
the hep b series is actually 3 vaccines given over a 6 month time period. so if your cruise is in august, its already too late. u could start the series, which would be time for the 1st 2 shots, but u don't have full immunity until u receive the 3rd shot.
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#11
San Antonio
1,524 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by biksgirl
My family doctor said we should get ourselves and the kids Hep A & B shots before our cruise (going in August to Mexico, Belize and Hondorus). Just wondering how many others get theirs before travelling to these areas?
Depending on the age of your child and the state you live in, they should have already began the series for Hep B (beginning at birth and ending around their 18 mo)and Hep A would have been given around the 12-24 month range for babies.

So I wonder why he would have suggested something like that, when he would have known the immunization schedules of your state plus what the kids had already been given.?
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Previous Cruises:

February 2003 - Carnival Fantasy - Freeport & Nassau, Bahama's

February 2009 - Carnival Ecstasy - Cozumel & Progresso, Mexico

September 2010 - Carnival Liberty - Half Moon Cay, Bahama's; St. Thomas, USVI; San Juan, PR ; & Grand Turk Island, Turks & Cacios.

February 2011 - Carnival Ecstasy - Was to have been to Cozumel & Progresso, Mexico...however due to Galveston fog turned to a 3 day to nowhere....

October 2011 Carnival Triumph -Progresso & Cozumel Mexico

April 2013 - Carnival Magic - Montego Bay, Jamaica; Grand Cayman Island & Cozumel, Mexico


April 2014 - Carnival Magic - Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize & Cozumel, Mexico

August 2014 - Carnival Triumph - Progreso & Cozumel, Mexico

April 2015 - Carnival Magic - Key West, Florida, Freeport and Nassau Bahamas


September 2015 - Carnival Freedom - Montego Bay, Jamaica; Grand Cayman Island & Cozumel, Mexico


September 2016 - Carnival Breeze - Cozumel, Mexico; Belize & Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan
#12
Pittsburgh, PA
413 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by biksgirl
My family doctor said we should get ourselves and the kids Hep A & B shots before our cruise (going in August to Mexico, Belize and Hondorus). Just wondering how many others get theirs before travelling to these areas?
Preventative vaccines are a good thing even for eating out at your favorite restaraunts at home.

I would call your local health dept to see what their recommendations are.
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#13
Wheaton, IL
68 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
We did get the Hep A vaccines for the kids before our Mexican Riviera cruise in 2008. The Hepatitis A vaccine wasn't given routinely (at least in Illinois) when my DD11 and DD9 were infants. They started recommending a few years ago. They got it in two doses but there is partial coverage after the first dose. So it still isn't completely worthwhile getting it started before August. Like always we are more cautious with the kids and my DH and I didn't get the shots at all.
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#14
San Diego, Ca
4,572 Posts
Joined May 2007
most public schools in the United States require the hep shots to enter school--also most state universities and colleges require proof prior to enrollment--is it different in Canada???


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#15
Prairie Village, KS
890 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
where we live i don't believe it is required, but then again i don't have children. Most healthcare employers require it, and emergency workers require it, but last I checked it was not given to babies or children here. I know the doctors office i work at gives it mainly to adults and healthcare workers, although we carry pediatric doses.
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#16
Prairie Village, KS
890 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
ok, i looked it up. the way i understand it, now they give the hep B vaccine to babies, but they didn't in the past. but, it says

"Hepatitis B and D: Also known as serum hepatitis, this form can be found in blood, saliva, semen, and vaginal secretions. The virus is transmitted via blood transfusions, sexual contact, or contaminated needles. It is common in homosexual men and IV drug users. Infected mothers can also pass it on to their babies at the time of delivery. Between 1-10% of people with this form of hepatitis will develop chronic hepatitis. These people have a 25-40% greater risk of developing cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis D can only occur when there is also infection with Hepatitis B. Hepatitis D is uncommon in the United States, except in those requiring multiple transfusions or in IV drug users.

  • Who gets the vaccine: Primary vaccination now takes place during infancy. If not immunized during childhood, the following at-risk people should receive the vaccine: all adolescents; and high-risk adults (those who have household contact with infected people; sex partners of infected people; heterosexuals with multiple sex partners in less than six months; IV drug users; people with recently diagnosed sexually transmitted diseases; people on hemodialysis for kidney failure; health-care workers exposed to blood products; inmates of correctional facilities)."
it doesn't sound like you need the hep B vaccine for travel though... unless you participate in these high-risk activities on your family cruise! LOL!

Hope this helps!
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#17
3,329 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Sounds like the dr wants some extra money. They will recommend everything, and why get it when you are going on a cruise and not before now? You can get it in the US just as easy.
#18
USA
6,558 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by biksgirl
My family doctor said we should get ourselves and the kids Hep A & B shots before our cruise (going in August to Mexico, Belize and Hondorus). Just wondering how many others get theirs before travelling to these areas?
all 4 of my kids have the shot....I believe it is a 2 series shot.


I decided to get it for them after our first cruise in 2004. I didn't know to ask the Doc about it then, but I did start the series for the next trip out of the country.
Insurance covers it and I mainly got it in case of food borne illnesses. Back in 1976, in Greece, I ate raw fruits and veggies..as in salad.....and a few days later I passes out while walking to see some artifact.....woke up in a medical tent with a doc telling me to drink this charcoal tasting liquid. Good thing I did as I was then able to get up and get in the bus and back to the hotel. I was green for the next 3 days and had to suffer thru the land portion of our tour..laying in the back of the bus and having them stop several times so I could be ill along side of the road....or out the bus window! You cannot imagine the outhouses I have seen in the Greek countryside!!! Wish I had the shot.

Some of the posters are talking about Hep B .....but Hep A is the one that makes most sense for children who travel.
#19
NS Canada
3,944 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
I got my whole family done before we ent to the MR in 08. I ahve too much iron in my blood that leaves me subseptible to all kind of nasty things so just to protect my liver and other key organs from any further dangers I got vacinated.If you start getting them now you can get most of the shots done. Twinrix is the one we get here in Manitoba. It is done in 3 shots one right off then one month later the second then 6 months after the 3rd.Most of the kids get the hib vaccine in school so they should be Ok you can get a tetnus and polio booster if they have not had one for the last 10 years.Otherwise. Drink only out from sealed bottles, no ice in your beverages on shore, Don't eat fresh fruit or veggies on shore and make sure your hot food is hot. The other thing too ( i'm sorry this is going to sound gross so cover your ears) get tested for parasites with in 3 weeks after you get back it doe shappen more often then you think..
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#20
Central Florida
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Joined Nov 2004
Nope, but we rarely leave the ship.

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