How and Where Can International Children Get Vaccinated in Shanghai?

By Dr. Jane Lee, Global HealthCare



Vaccines are by far one of the most effective ways to prevent diseases, and a child’s healthy start begins with the first shot shortly after birth. However, for international families living in Shanghai, finding out how to get their children vaccinated is undoubtedly an issue that confuses many parents.

  • Should they follow their home country vaccination program or the Chinese one?
  • Which imported vaccines can they access in Shanghai today?
  • Which local vaccines are recommended for vaccination?
  • What will happen if children miss their vaccine shots?

The answers to all these questions will be addressed one by one in this article.


The Types of Vaccines For Children in China


The commonly used vaccines in China are divided into two types: immunization program vaccines and non-immunization program vaccines.



Immunization program vaccines are provided by the government free of charge, such as Hepatitis B, DPT and Polio vaccines. Both non-local and local children have the same right to vaccination and can receive their vaccination free of charge at community health centers.

Non-immunization program vaccines are vaccines available to citizens at their own expense.

Vaccines such as Rotavirus, Prevenar 13, Varicella, Influenza, and ACWY group meningitis vaccines, which are included in conventional immunization programs abroad, are classified as non-immunization program vaccines in China, and all these vaccines can be administered at additional cost by licensed vaccination entities, including Global HealthCare.


Which Imported Children’s Vaccines Are Available in Shanghai Today?


The imported children’s vaccines and their brands that are presently available are as follows:



Should International Children Follow Home Country Immunization Programs or Chinese Ones?


Due to the different types of diseases prevalent across regions, the recommended vaccine types for inoculation also vary from one region to another.

Therefore, for those who plan to live in China for a long time, it is suggested that it is safer for children to get vaccinated according to the suggestions of the Chinese health department, especially for infants whose immune systems are not fully developed and therefore vulnerable to certain diseases.

Meanwhile, it is also suggested that self-funded vaccines be chosen as supplements or replacements according to an individual’s native immunization programs, to provide children with more comprehensive protection.


Vaccination Suggestions for International Children in China



What if Children Miss Their Vaccine Shots?


1. If a child misses their vaccine shot, they should get vaccinated retroactively and complete their vaccination as soon as possible, with priority given to ensuring the administration of immunization program vaccines from the beginning to the end

2. For any vaccines, only uncompleted dosages are required to be administered retroactively, and it is not necessary to restart the whole process of vaccination.

3. When it is indeed impossible to complete a vaccination using the same type of vaccines from the same manufacturer, subsequent vaccinations may be completed using the same type of vaccines from different manufacturers.

4. Retroactive administration of a particular type of vaccine will not affect the administration of other vaccines or subsequent vaccines.


Special Notes:


1. For pentavalent rotavirus vaccine and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, due to the strict age limits in the guidelines for administration, retroactive vaccination will become impossible once the age limits are exceeded.

2. Moreover, according to the vaccine manufacturers’ recommendations, once your child is more than 2 years old, it will become impossible to get vaccinated using pentavaccine or quadvaccine, but if your child missed a vaccine shot, then vaccines containing the separate components can be administered retroactively.


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