Childhood Vaccinations at Community Health Centers

Anyone living in Tianjin is eligible for free vaccinations at the Community Health Centers. I know this will not appeal to many people, but for those who have neither good health insurance here nor the ability to go back home for vaccinations, this is great news. You will need a Chinese friend to help you sort things out initially. You must go to the location specific to your address or they can turn you away. I recommend having a friend call and explain the situation, tell them your address and find out the appropriate location (for example, people living at Wellington would go to a location just behind Aqua City, people living at Yanlord to a location in the Tian Kang Yuan section of Fulicheng, etc.). Have them explain your children’s ages and the vaccinations they’ll be needing (which you can figure out by looking at the chart below and accompanying explanations). They told me that if I wanted them to just write the new immunizations down in my children’s American immunization card, I could just bring that, but that if I wanted a Tianjin immunization card, I needed to go to another location first. Of course I chose the former option, but when I showed up, they gave me some trouble about not having the card, but they eventually gave in. It took about an hour and a half for one of the nurses to create booklets for my three children, because she had to enter every immunization they’ve ever had, which is a lot when you’re six years old. We opted to begin the Meningitis (MCV) and Japanese Encephalitis (JEV) as well, which they said the kids will just need one now and one in three years and one year, respectively, rather than the 4 and 3 that would given  had they lived in China all their lives.  (I’m not sure about your country of origin, but the US obviously does not do JEV, and they don’t do MCV until  12 years old.) There are also some vaccines that incur extra fees. We are opting to continue the chicken pox immunization the kids began in the US, and that is an extra fee. It’s called VAR in the US and VZV here and costs 200 RMB.

The clinic is very clean and friendly, not like you might imagine. The only thing is, everything just happens out in the open, so prepare yourself for no privacy. And there’s nothing quick about the service. Back home, a nurse would prep all the syringes and then just stick them all one right after another, but here, they do one, then prep the next one and do it. Bring Bandaids (plasters) if you want to have them. In typical Chinese fashion, they only offer a Q-tip afterward. Then they will give you the standard advice: no red meat, no sea food, lots of water and rest, and no bathing for two days. Just nod and smile.

[box style=’info’]

Telephone Number: 022-27571661

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 8:30-11:30, except for holidays (Go as soon as they open! It gets busy!)

Fee: 10 RMB per child per visit

What to Bring: Immunization Cards, Passports. Chinese address

[/box]

OPV = IPV (Polio)
HBV = Hepatitis B
DPT = DTap (Diptheria Tetanus Pertussis) (Thye only had DT at the place I went, said they didn’t do the P part, just the one below)
DT = Diphtheria Tetanus
MV = Measles
MMR = MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
MCV= Meningococcal Meningitis
JEV = Japanese Encephalitis
HAV – Hepatitis A

Optional Vaccines at Own Expense
HIB = Influenza 2
VZV = Chicken Pox
PCV7 = PCV7Pneumococcal
PPV23 = PPV23 Pneumoccocal
RVV = Rotavirus
Rabies
HF = Hemorrhagic Fever (I have no idea which one)

Below is the schedule as printed in the certificate book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *