View Full Version : Shots, vaccinations, VISAs for SGU SOs?

06-12-2004, 03:51 PM
Hello everyone,

My hubby and I are getting ready for the big move to Grenada, and St. George's has not had too much information to offer an SO about required VISAs, vaccinations and any other necessities to get into and off of the island.

Does anyone have any specific advice about what an SO needs to do before we head down there?

Any info would help.


06-17-2004, 07:05 AM
I was wondering the same thing. I did go to my doctor who looked up recommended vaccines for Grenada, and hepatitis A was highly recommended as it can be food and water borne. Tetanus and HepB are also recommended

06-22-2004, 02:40 PM
Thankfully, my husband already has all the necessary vacinnes, but if possible I would recommend (not that it means much) that your SO get the Hep A, Tetanus and maybe a polio booster too (my GP made me get the polio booster even though in reality it's optional). Better to be safe then to depend on crappy insurance once you're really sick.

As for visas... I found this on the member's center and it might be the info you're looking for (you'll need member center access:


Looks like you should bring a copy of your marriage liscense.

On a lighter note, I so psyched that there will be SO husbands at SGU for my husband to hang out with- he was a little worried.[/url]

09-20-2004, 03:50 PM
I have had numerous requests to discuss immunization needs and preparation of health status before students come to Dominica. Although I gathered data for Ross, much of it could apply to any Carib medical school. I'll address them here, but if anyone wants to add or revise my thoughts as a health care professional, please feel free.

1. It is important if you are not physically fit (fairly buff) to start working on your fitness at least a few months before leaving for school. Caribbean islands have some fairly rough terrain, and unless you're paying top dollar to live close to school, you will need to be hiking at a fast rate up and down steep and uneven incllines. If you have access to an eliptical trainer, stair climber, &/or treadmill, do yourself a favor and start getting fit.

2. When you see your travel clinic or health care provider for your immunizations, get your HIV test done too. This is a requirement of many Carib schools and islands' visa regulations.

3. Get your immunizations up to date.
a. If you have not had your tenanus and diptheria immunizations upgraded in the last 10 years, do it.
b. Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for the country at least 2 weeks prior to your arrival. If you are bringing your family, make sure they get it as well, as kids at least > 2 years of age can have it.
c. Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended prior to any clinical experience. This is a two-shot series given months apart, so medical students should start prior to going to school.
d. Yellow fever vaccine is NOT necessary unless you are coming from Africa or a yellow fever-infected country. (USA is not one of them)
e. Have your health care provider do a rheubella titer. If it is insufficient, you may need an immunization for this.
f. Typhoid immunization is recommended for people > 2 years of age.

4. Dengue fever is rare, but as students have testified on the forum, it DOES happen. Your best defense for this is to make sure you bring proper and adequate mosquitoe protection. Check out the Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard, as it is effective and DEET-free. If you feel you want to use DEET, by all means buy it. Do NOT come to the island to see how bad the bugs are, and then decide you need protection. Buy your repellent and pack plenty of it, as you may be applying it several times a day or night.

5. Get into practice of providing yourself with adequate hydration. If you are not drinking 6-8 glasses of WATER at home, start doing it now. Your hydration during air travel will be vital to prevent DVT (deep vein thrombosis or blood clots in the legs, which can travel to the lungs), and your hydration during your stay on the hot island will be imperative to your healthy survival. Water conditions of individual islands have been addressed on the forum, so make sure you purchase a system to take along, and bring sufficient filters with you.

6. Discuss traveler's diarrhea with your health care provider and obtain a prescription for a supply of medication BEFORE you come to the island. If you come to the rock and develop more than 3 loose stools per day, especially with fever, nausea, vomiting, bloody stools, or gut cramps, you WILL need medications. The current standard of care is quinolone antibiotics. Most docs are ordering Cipro 500 BID or Levaquin 500 daily for 3 days. Keep in mind that the quinolone antibiotics cause increased sensitivity to the sun.

7. Plan to take an adquate supply of sunscreen, even if you are a person of color. The sun in the Caribbean is brutal, and even dark skinned people can develop skin cancer. If you are taking the above antibiotics, it will become even more important. Chapstick containing a sunscreen is a good idea, even if you're a guy, since your lips will get burned. (keeps 'em soft, too, in case you run into something you wanna kiss)

8. Bring plenty of OTC medications, as supplies of meds are limited in Caribbean islands, and when available, the prices are outrageous. Pack PO meds and make sure to include topicals, too. Some suggestions would be Acetaminophen, Immodium, Tums, Benadryl caps and cream, Hydrocortisone cream, motion sickness tabs, your usual vitamins, a tube of topical oral analgesia (Oragel), antifungal stuff like Lotrimin, Visine, and antibiotic ointment.

9. Pack a simple First Aid kit. Think about all the injuries that you and your family members had in the last 10 years, and then pack accordingly. Some suggestions would be an Ace, a simple sling, Bandaids in a variety of shapes and sizes, a tweezer, a few bullets of saline, a few pr. of gloves, simple magnifier glass, tape, and a few gauze dressings in different sizes.

10. Do some self-reflecting on your mental status. If you are prone to missing loved ones, think about what you will need to alleviate your lonliness. It may help to scan some of your favorite pictures of people and things, and tape them to your fridg. It may be smart to take a small album of pictures of your favorite people/things to pull out and look at when you feel like banging your head on the wall. If you know that your physical work-out helps your spirit, make sure you pack your fitness clothing. (I notice a lot of the Carib meds schools now have gyms, and it may help you keep that buff figure you've worked so hard to prepare AND it may help decrease your stress or depression) Make sure you make lists of things you want to take care of before you leave for school...completing your list of things to do will help you with closure before you leave, and it will give you a sense of not leaving things undone before you go.

Best Wishes!

Dru (the Ross mom and RN)

Moderator - Ross Parents Forum :wink:

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