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Need immunization to come to Taiwan?

Find medical, health and fitness related resources in Taiwan. Discussions on wide ranging issues from fitness training and diet through to major surgery.

Postby autumn489 » 27 Jul 2004, 21:56

hoedad wrote:
MaPoSquid wrote:
Hepatitis vaccine is just about the safest one out there. I don't know why hoedad is worried; been reading too much trial-lawyer propaganda??


Because walking into health care facilities for unnecessary injections seems to me to be an unnecessary risk. Small risk, yes, but strep and incompetence are very common in hospitals, and combine that with getting an injection... it just seems like something to avoid if possible.

I would argue that one's chances of contracting hospital-related illness while getting a hep. vaccine is probably greater than actually contracting hepatitis while in Taiwan, especially if you're only going to be here for a short time.

And Japanese encephalitis? C'mon. That's silly. Serious, I don't have any figures on hand, but I suspect the odds of contracting Japanese encephalitis while in Taiwan, even for years, are far, far lower than contracting any number of illnesses given a 4 hour stay in a hospital and one or more injections.

"More people die every year from hospital infections (90,000) than from all accidental deaths (70,000), including motor vehicle crashes, fires, burns, falls, drownings, and poisonings." See http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/nosocoml.html


You don't get the shots in a hospital. You go to a public health clinic. I think you're over-reacting regarding your worry over a brief visit to a hospital.
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Postby hoedad » 27 Jul 2004, 22:02

autumn489 wrote:You don't get the shots in a hospital. You go to a public health clinic. I think you're over-reacting regarding your worry over a brief visit to a hospital.


Well, that could be. And I go to the hospital many times a year. Truth is, needles scare the shit out of me, and it just does seem stupid to have someone stick them into me for no good reason.

Still, the only reason I see for going to a hospital is if somebody is sick or injured. Hepatitis, encephalitis, these are not serious threats in Taiwan. They're just not.
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Postby MaPoSquid » 27 Jul 2004, 23:19

hoedad wrote:
MaPoSquid wrote:Hepatitis vaccine is just about the safest one out there. I don't know why hoedad is worried; been reading too much trial-lawyer propaganda??


Because walking into health care facilities for unnecessary injections seems to me to be an unnecessary risk. Small risk, yes, but strep and incompetence are very common in hospitals, and combine that with getting an injection... it just seems like something to avoid if possible.

I would argue that one's chances of contracting hospital-related illness while getting a hep. vaccine is probably greater than actually contracting hepatitis while in Taiwan, especially if you're only going to be here for a short time.

And Japanese encephalitis? C'mon. That's silly. Serious, I don't have any figures on hand, but I suspect the odds of contracting Japanese encephalitis while in Taiwan, even for years, are far, far lower than contracting any number of illnesses given a 4 hour stay in a hospital and one or more injections.

"More people die every year from hospital infections (90,000) than from all accidental deaths (70,000), including motor vehicle crashes, fires, burns, falls, drownings, and poisonings." See http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/nosocoml.html

I'm sorry, but you are clearly barking mad and a paranoid loon to boot.

Hep A and B vaccines don't protect just while in Taiwan, they protect for life (subject to booster shots for B). They're not a bad idea at all. They are standard for children nowadays, and they are among the lowest-risk vaccines.

Japanese encephalitis, there are no useful numbers for Taiwan. The reason is that the entire population gets immunized as children, and the disease is usually asymptomatic (except when it's confused with influenza, or when it is spectacularly fatal), so there's no way to calculate the risk. I can say from personal experience that I was in Taiwan for less than ten days and got it. (To be specific, I contracted it on Tuesday May 28 2002 at 5:15pm outside the National Palace Museum, roughly two days after arriving, while waiting for a bus. The 220 bus, if I recall correctly.)

So your dismissal (although you "don't have any figures at hand" and couldn't be bothered to look up anything about it) is IMHO somewhat irrational.

As far as your figures on hospital-acquired infections: primus, the organization whose information you cite is an advocacy group which is hardly unbiased; secundus, you somehow forget that people are usually in hospitals (as opposed to their doctor's clinic) because they have a major illness, require surgery, are undergoing childbirth, or otherwise have serious problems, which increases their risk of getting a secondary infection.

I have rarely been at a doctor's clinic for more than an hour, not the "four hours" you claim -- they're too damn busy to see anyone for four hours, and they usually don't go so far off schedule that they make you sit and wait that long (or if they do, they start cancelling appointments).

I therefore adjure you to begone, foul fiend, and get thee hence to the foul pit of Hell from whence you . . . oh, wait, wrong closing. In short, I think your irrational fear of vaccination is clouding your judgement.
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Postby mrjared » 28 Jul 2004, 04:02

I'm sorry, but I have to agree with hoedad on this (just not to the level he is going at it). While it's a good idea to have these immunizations, I don't believe a trip to Taiwan calls for loading up on these. Why go to the pain and trouble when it.s not necessary.

Maybe Hepatitis A for food-born illnesses but Hep B? Unless Mom's going to be shooting up or having sex with the local population, I don't think she really has to worry about that.

Now that I've gotten my personal opinion out of the way - The American Center for Disease Control recommends the following immunizations for travelers to East Asia (not Taiwan-specific):

<b>Hepatitis A</b> or immune globulin (IG), except travelers to Japan.
<b>Hepatitis B, if you might be exposed to blood</b> (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months, or be exposed through medical treatment.
<b>Japanese encephalitis</b>, only if you plan to visit rural areas for 4 weeks or more, except under special circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.
<b>Rabies</b>, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.
<b>Typhoid</b>, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region.
As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11.12 years who did not receive the series as infants.

http://www.cdc.gov/travel/eastasia.htm

As I mentioned in a previous thread, Taiwan has not had a documented case of Rabies since the 1950s so I think you're at bigger risk of this walking down the street in Detroit.

Finally, in answer to the actual question asked, Taiwan CDC has a list of vaccinations that are required prior to entry from several countries
http://www.cdc.gov.tw/En/HealthTopic.ASP?Category=26
http://203.65.72.83/En/dpc/Upload/vaccination.doc
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Postby hoedad » 28 Jul 2004, 10:35

MaPoSquid wrote:
I therefore adjure you to begone, foul fiend, and get thee hence to the foul pit of Hell from whence you . . . oh, wait, wrong closing. In short, I think your irrational fear of vaccination is clouding your judgement.


Foul pit of hell? That sounds even worse than a hospital toilet.

No doubt you are correct in your take that I'm overly paranoid of catching something in a hospital (and I am absolutely paranoid of needles). But I just can't see the point in letting someone stick a foreign object into my healthy body, though I understand there are some people who get turned on by that sort of thing.

Irrational, perhaps. I'm still not going to get a shot unless I'm sick though, or unless there's overwhelming evidence that I will get sick if I don't get the shot.
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Postby MaPoSquid » 28 Jul 2004, 19:12

mrjared wrote:Now that I've gotten my personal opinion out of the way - The American Center for Disease Control recommends the following immunizations for travelers to East Asia (not Taiwan-specific):

<b>Japanese encephalitis</b>, only if you plan to visit rural areas for 4 weeks or more, except under special circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.

http://www.cdc.gov/travel/eastasia.htm

As of mid-2002, the Taiwan-specific section recommended the JE vaccine to anyone traveling to Taiwan for more than 30 days between May-October. However, given the low risk from the JE vaccine and the difficulty in calculating risk of infection, there's no reason not to get it unless your doctor can't obtain the vaccine in time or you have a known medical problem with its method of creation (JE vaccine is derived from mice, specifically mouse brains). Or, of course, if you've already had JE.
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Postby autumn489 » 29 Jul 2004, 08:48

You DON'T have to go to a hospital for the shots. You go to a public health nurse in a clinic. Takes about 1/2 an hour and you're outa there. Needles are sterilized. What's the problem? Relax.
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Postby hoedad » 29 Jul 2004, 14:02

OK OK, I give! I was just playing the devil's advocate. I'd hate to discourage someone from getting a needed immunization then falling ill. In fact, believe it or not, I've received quite a number of them myself. Hep B, got it. Hep A, got it but don't plan on getting a booster. But encephalitis? I never even knew there was such a shot. How many foreigners here have actually been vaccinated for encephalitis? I'm curious.

So, yes, got get those shots. But remember, if when the nurse enters the room to give you your shot, she slips on a wet floor and lands on one of those carts on wheels with sharp things on it, and goes careening across the room knocking you over and leaving you paralyzed, DON'T BLAME ME!
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Postby iris » 29 Jul 2004, 14:11

hoedad wrote:How many foreigners here have actually been vaccinated for encephalitis?


I have

To be honest, this whole discussion sounds very American to me (ouch :oops: ). Most Germans wouldn't think twice about getting standard immunization and shots that are suggested for travelling to certain areas, and I remember that we had doctors coming to our school to give us the appropriate shots when I was younger. Besides, some vaccines can be taken orally, like the typhoid one iirc.

That reminds me - There are some booster shots I need. Any suggestions where to get them in Taipei since I won't be travelling to Europe this year?

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Postby hoedad » 29 Jul 2004, 14:40

iris wrote:
To be honest, this whole discussion sounds very American to be (ouch :oops: ).


No offense taken. My understanding is that Germany, unlike the US, actually has a functioning health care system.

Years ago there used to be a Seventh Day Adventist clinic in Kaohsiung that provided great vaccination service, but it's closed unfortunately. I got my Hep B shots there and the Dr. told me that she didn't need them because she'd been tested and had developed a natural immunity.

Health care in Taiwan is excellent. You should have no trouble finding what you need. The clinic on the corner can probably take care of you.
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