We are NOT authorized by Govt of India for Yellow Fever Vaccination

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Current confusion regarding Oral Polio Vaccine requirements by Government of India, applicable from 14th Feb 2014 - what the experts say ?

Here is what one expert has to say regarding the current Oral Polio Vaccine requirement that will become mandatory from 14th February, 2014 for all travelers from 7 countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia & Israel.

"We've been attempting to get clarity on a number of issues and so far have not been able to pin down details of implementation. 
What is clear is that the Ministry of Health requires proof of OPV for all travellers arriving in India from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Israel, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan or Somalia, from 14th February onwards. The vaccination must have been administered between six weeks to one year before arrival in India. Proof of vaccination is also required from Indian citizens who travel to those seven countries.
This has been stated at on the websites of the Indian Foreign Missions at least in Nigeriahttp://www.indianhcabuja.com/ , and Pakistan :  http://www.india.org.pk/
There is an announcement on Kenyan Airways as well http://www.kenya-airways.com/Global/About_Kenya_Airways/News/Full_Polio_Vaccination_for_travelers_entering_India_from_Kenya/?dis=y

Beyond that we only have verbal information from government sources and which at times seems to be contradictory.
What we can piece together so far is that it is likely that the requirement to show proof of vaccination will be tied to the visa process. We do not know if any control at entry points will be implemented i.e. will the immigration officers at the airports be checking for vaccination certificates. So far we haven't seen anything in visa documentation that requests vaccination information / certification. The arrival card doesn't ask about vaccination but does ask for country of residence and countries visited in the last 6 days. People who transit through the target countries don't appear to fall under the requirement. When we asked how long someone would need to be in those countries to become subject to the requirement we were advised "a considerable amount of time" with no indication as to whether this meant days, weeks or months. So for the scenario below it is completely unclear whether your traveler will be required to show proof, even if he / she has a valid visa.
In addition it is not clear what will be accepted as proof. Inquiries to the Ministry of External Affairs seems to point to the WHO yellow card ICV 2005 as being required, and the sample document on the Indian High Comm in Pakistan website is a Word document with text that mirrors that on the yellow card ICV. However in India at this point, the yellow card is only readily available at government facilities that provide yellow fever vaccination. However these centers do not have OPV. (and the facilities that do have OPV don't have yellow cards)

We are hoping that process will be clearer after 14th February 2014. At the moment the more digging we do, the more conflicting information we appear to turn up

Best regards

Dr Irene Lai, M.B.,B.S,  FFTM RCPS(Glasg)
Medical Director
Medical Information and Analysis
International SOS"


  1. There was a publication in Hindustan Times on February 11, 2014 that now it is mandatory to carry polio vaccination certificate who shall travel or transit frm the designated seven countries and the certificate must be the WHO yellow certificate.

    Please let me know where these vaccinations shall be available alongwith the specified certificate.

    1. The govt of India is in the process of identifying centers where the Polio drops can be administered.
      We provide the Polio drops in the format of IHR 2005 by WHO as prescribed y the Govt of India. Please contact our clinics by calling 08010777722.
      Dr Gupta

  2. Hi

    we are planning to travel to Kenya on 14th July. When should we take polio drops and yellow fever vaccinations and where can we get it in Bangalore?
    And what if after taking these vaccines, we decide not to go to Kenya, will it have any side effectes?