Monday, May 2, 2011
US Vaccination Requirements for the medical exam
One thing that did cause me some stress for my fiance visa medical exam was trying to sort out my shots in advance, so that they fitted with the US vaccination requirements. If you get them done at the time of your fiance visa medical exam then you will end up paying for them and the rates are pretty expensive. However, as I am a Brit, my plan was to get most of them done for free on the NHS. The immigration immunization requirement that cased most confusion was the Hep B shot, but I will come to that in due course.
Booking an appointment with my local health centre
I contacted my local health centre well in advance, before I had even received the date of my fiance visa medical exam in fact and booked an appointment. I downloaded the US vaccination requirements from the USCIS website and took them along with me, this has on it the questionnaire that you are expected to fill out for your fiancé visa medical exam and also the list of vaccination requirements which the doctor fills out. A nurse at the medical centre gave me a general medical exam, checking my blood pressure, weight, etc. and we discussed the US vaccination requirements. I explained that I would need my vaccination and immunization shots brought up to date and then I would like her to create me some sort of print out that I could take down to show my doctor at the fiancé visa medical exam.
The list of US Vaccination Requirements
Most of the list of shots needed on the US vaccination requirements were the same as the shots that we have in the UK, and indeed when the health nurse found my old records, I had had most the shot on the list done when I was a kid at school. I needed a boost for the tetanus and others that I’d had at school. I got a DT, which turned out to be unnecessary for me. I also got an MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) jab for free, as those weren’t around when I was a kid.
The problems came with the hepatitis, which are listed in the US vaccination requirements. The nurse said that they weren’t appropriate and her explanation sounded good to me. I did however have a hepatitis A jab as it was free and I saw no harm with getting it. The hep B costs money, however, and it’s not simply just a single jab. On top of that, the hep B is meant for people such as health professionals rather than ordinary people. I therefore didn’t have any hep B shots.
In the end, the doctor at the fiance visa medical exam ticked both the hepatitis A and hep B shots as “not age appropriate”, ie they weren’t necessary for me (I am 44 years old). I cannot guarantee that other people have or will experience the same thing as me with regard to the US vaccinations requirements, of course, if you have a different age, background, lifestyle etc. then you may well be treated differently, but in my experience the doctor took a common sense approach consistent with the advice that I received from my local health centre.