Getting Travellers Vaccinations in China
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Aug 14, 2013 4:56 AM Last Post By: Stray_Photograp...
Aug 1, 2013 7:11 PM
Getting Travellers Vaccinations in ChinaHi,
I am currently backpacking through Asia and find myself in China rigth now. Before leaving home I got all the necessary vaccinations.
But as hepatitis A and B require more that one dose, I need to get the last one of each (A & B) around this time. I got the previous one 5 or 6 months ago and the doctor put it down on my card to get the last of each at the start of August.
My questions are the following:
1) Where should I go to get them in China? I am currently in Chengdu for a few days, then go to Xian, then Beijing. All bug cities, so I'm hoping that I have a option there.
2) Is it safe in China to get the vaccinations here? I have read some stuff online about the danger of locally produces vaccines here
3) What have other travellers done in this case, where they need to get the remaining dose of a vaccination at a later date while travelling?
Thanks a lot for the advice
Aug 1, 2013 8:36 PM
Aug 2, 2013 6:47 AM
2United Family Hospital and International SOS can give it, but it will be very expensive. You also need to get the same brand/manufacturer as you started with (Havrix, Engerix, Twinrix, etc).. This will preclude Chinese hospitals and clinics which use Chinese-made product--which I don't recommend. Frankly, at this point you might consider skipping the rest of the vaccinations while in China. Even that first dose of vaccination provides decent (though incomplete) protection. Hep B is unlikely for the average visitor to encounter if you watch your social behaviors, and Hep A risk can be reduced (not eliminated) by watching what you eat/drink, which should be standard procedure even with full series vaccinations.
If you will be going to HK or Bangkok during this trip, those might be better options. Particularly the latter due to safe, cost-effective vaccination venue availability. Even if the timing of the next shot isn't perfect, it still should work. They've done many studies giving these vaccines at different schedule intervals and while official recommendations come up with an "optimum" schedule for the average person, deviating does not mean you will turn into a pumpkin nor automatically be a lot less protected.
Aug 2, 2013 4:10 PM
Aug 6, 2013 6:17 PM
Aug 7, 2013 9:50 AM
5Many thanks for the replies and sorry for the delay in responding. I've been without a conection for the last few days.
I really appreciate the feedback.
After reading it, I¡m a little stressed about the situation to be honest. I didn't realise it would be so difficult to organise here.
Does anyone know if my embassy (Ireland) would be able to help me out? Would it be worth gtting in touch with them?
Aug 8, 2013 5:43 AM
Aug 8, 2013 2:26 PM
Aug 11, 2013 8:26 PM
I have been in touch with one of the hospitals here in Beijing, SOS. They tell me they have the vaccines I need, but that there is a required consultation with a physician beforehand. This costs 1240 Yuan, and on top of that I'd have to pay the vaccine.
Does anyone know if the required consultation obligatory in all hospitals?
Doesn't it seem excessive at 1240, would it be cheaper in another?
Any ideas on what it would come to with the vaccinations included in the price?
Thanks again for the help
Aug 12, 2013 12:43 PM
9Yes it is, and it will be equally expensive at Beijing United Family and nearly as much at IMC. Frankly, it's a pack of BS and a way to extract as much money from you as possible for unnecessary services. Less expensive at Chinese hospitals but I strongly suggest you don't go that route since they'll be using China-produced product that isn't designed to be used as a continuation of a series started in the West.. As I already indicated up thread, you'd probably be better off dropping the idea of getting these vaccines in China and doing it elsewhere or skipping entirely. You can restart the series when you get back home, if you intend on traveling in the future.
Aug 12, 2013 8:04 PM
10Thanks for the reply jiejie,
yeah it's incredibly expensive. I really appreciate the help you have given me so far. Just one final thing to ask you if you have time to answear.
I got one vaccination for Hep A in early March it was Harvix
I got two for Hep B one in early Feb and another in early March, they were HBVAXPRO and ENRGIX-B
I rang my doctor, but she is off sick. The nurse who works with her, cannot garuntee me that I'm covered for a year with what I have. She doesnt seem to have much idea though, as she didnt understand that there were various typesof vaccines for HepA and B
Do you know how good the protection is for a year with what I have. After China I go to Nepal and then India, places where Hep A is probably quite comon. After that, by March of next year, I'll either finish my travelling, or head to SE Asia, where I could restart tem in Bangkok.
Another option I have is to change my itinerary and head to Hong Kong and have them done there. Is there much difference in the cost there? I havent enquired yet.
By the time I got there, it would be mid september, and I'd be getting the vaccinations a full 6 weeks after I was supposed to get them. However I understand there is a window for the boosters, although I'm not sure how much.
I'd be very greatful if you could offer me any further advice.
Aug 13, 2013 12:09 PM
11Hep A = Havrix. Studies in adults have shown just 1 dose provides 94% or better effectiveness for quite awhile. The second dose is recommended to bolster for long-term protection (years and years ongoing). Therefore, for this trip and up to a year from now, you should be in pretty good shape with what you have, with a second dose not likely to make a meaningful difference. Still, practicing careful hygiene and food/water selection is a must. Anywhere but especially in the Indian Subcontinent.
Hep B = HBVAXPRO + Engerix B. If you've already received 2 doses, you've got a decent amount of protection though the % varies fairly widely by individual. The good thing is that effectiveness actually builds more strongly as the months go on. Manufacturer recommends AT LEAST 8 weeks between 2nd and 3rd doses, with the stipulation that if only the 3rd dose is delayed, just get it "as soon as possible." Again, even with vaccination you should practice safe personal habits at all times.
The urgency of getting these last doses of additional vaccinations just doesn't seem to be there and particularly if you are sensible in your activities. Nor does it seem necessary to change your itinerary. Hong Kong wouldn't be particularly cheap either. Far better to make sure your travel medical insurance and evac is up-to-speed and paid for. India has some good private hospitals and clinics and you can look into completing your series there if you wish. If you decide to forego and wait until Bangkok, consult with a decent travel clinic such as the Queen Saovabha Institute (at the Pasteur Institute) or a private hospital, and see if you really need to restart or just get the final doses.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional (though I do come from a medical family formerly with the USA's CDC).
Aug 14, 2013 4:56 AM
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