When I first came to China in 2006, I went to live in Chongqing. In my preparations for leaving Australia, I remember getting a slew of vaccinations though my memory fails me as to precisely what these were… Typhoid? Hepatitis A? They sound about right but there may have been more because I do remember the sum of them having a mighty strong effect.
Depending upon where are coming from, you may need to update your current vaccination status or get some entirely new and exotic ones. Remember that although you are coming to the bustling and (relatively) hygienic and safe metropolis of Shanghai, you may decide to travel to riskier areas throughout the country while you are here. The following websites may be used as a guide but be sure to check your government’s travel advice if you are not from one of these countries because remember, it’s not just about where you’re going but where you’re coming from. China may very well require you to have proof of a particular vaccination (e.g. Yellow Fever) as a condition of entry:
Smart Traveller Australia
Foreign & Commonwealth Office UK - Travel and Living Abroad
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention US – Travelers’ Health
You can also check out the World Health Organisation’s travel advice, here:
World Health Organisation – International Travel and Health
But let’s say you are already in Shanghai and you are planning a trip to southern China or further afield to South East Asia or beyond. Where can you get vaccinated in Shanghai?
International medical centres like Parkway Health do offer vaccinations – not only the ones you might need for travelling but the standard vaccinations that you might receive every ten years or so back home. However, these can be expensive. Some of the members on our ShanghaiExpat forums have reported fees that reach the thousands.
If you are here with your family and want to keep your child’s vaccinations up to date, remember that foreign children too can receive free vaccinations from local government clinics. Find out more here:
Notice about Vaccinations for Foreign Children
Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (In Chinese. However this initial page works well with Google Translate. After you choose your district, you’ll be presented with another untranslated page in Chinese. This has the address and contact details of clinics in your area. Copy and paste the info separately into Google Translate or finally admit defeat and ask a Mandarin speaking friend for help)
And what about your pets? The procedures for bringing your pet to Shanghai would require a whole other article. You can find out about this in excellent detail at the SCAA website. For vaccinations in Shanghai: The PAW Clinic on Kaixuan Lu and Xinhua Lu is an excellent place to take your pets but something to keep in mind is that once it comes time to leave China, you will need to ensure that your pet has been vaccinated by a government approved clinic that can supply official documentation. It might be worthwhile to ensure that your pets always receive their vaccinations from just such a clinic. Then, once it is time to leave, you will not need to scramble about getting your pet’s vaccination record official and up to date (like I did). Shenpu Pet Hospital (Open 8:30am-9pm. Call 53018000 and be patient as you’ll probably be put on hold for a good ten minutes or more) at 565 Xujiahui Lu is Luwan’s government approved clinic. Some staff members speak English and the clinic is professional and clean. They also sell a wide range of pet supplies including food, medicine, and carriers. My cat’s rabies shot and microchip cost around 500 RMB and her health check certificate cost around 440 RMB. For a complete list of government clinics, visit the JAR website.
For you, your best bet is to go to the Shanghai International Travel Medical Center (SITMC) at 15 Jinbang Lu, near Hami Lu. This is the same place that does the health checks for visas and residency permits. Open from 8-11am and 1-3pm, Monday to Friday, the clinic is safe, clean, and professional. Call 6268 5072 to make an appointment.
I went there this morning (Wednesday) at 9:30am to get some shots for my upcoming move to Vietnam. It wasn’t too busy and the service was friendly and efficient, ensuring that I was in and out in around 45 minutes. A tetanus update on the left arm and typhoid and Japanese encephalitis (This last one is cool – a hot pink coloured serum not unlike a monstrous alien virus or a syrupy cocktail) shots on the right, plus a vaccination record cost me 384 RMB. The taxi (From near Ruijin Hospital, Luwan to the clinic, then the clinic to our offices on West Yan’an Lu, Dingxi Lu) cost around 70 RMB. If you want to cut costs further, it is possible to take the Metro (Line 10, Shanghai Zoo Station) and then take a taxi or walk but you would probably have to walk a further 20 minutes or so to get to the clinic from the station.
One person in our forums reported buying DEET repellent from the clinic. I asked today and was told that they did not have it. This being China, that may mean that they generally carry it and are simply out of stock or they may no longer sell it. Of course, the nurse and I may have simply misunderstood each other. For DEET repellents and other ways to avoid mosquitoes, check out our article on the subject.