Baby vaccinations in Hsinchu – Part 1
One of my biggest concerns coming over to Taiwan was addressing any medical concerns that could come up with my children. Particularly with an infant, the looming vaccinations were heavy on my mind. Thankfully, last week I became friends with a couple local moms. One of them, I’ll call her L, speaks great English. She was going to book vaccinations at the Mackay Hospital for her 16 month old, and offered to book mine at the same time. Then we could go together so that she could help me manage the language barrier.
L was very diligent in this process and even called the hospital in advance to ask what documents I needed to bring. She was told that I should bring Daphne’s ID (Passport and Alien Resident Card) as well as her Vaccination record. So, today being the big day, L and I headed to the hospital – a convenient 8-minutes walk from my home.
It Wasn’t Meant To Be
Upon arriving at the Mackay Hospital, we went to the “Baby Well Clinic” where I had to register (as it was my first time at the hospital). Then we went inside the waiting room where there was another desk where I had to check in with the nurses. To set the scene… there was one door leading to a room where patients go for their initial check-up with the doctor. Then there were three small vaccination rooms. Some parents didn’t bother to close the door as the nurses gave the vaccinations. As I listened to the children wailing, I could only imagine the fear going through the minds of the little ones waiting their turn.
Once I got to the desk, the nurse and L had a long chat. Another mother entered the conversation. This was not good. Turns out I need to go to the Public Health Centre first (downtown), get their stamp of approval, then return to the hospital for the vaccinations.
Fast forward to this evening, where L sends me a text message. Being the amazingly helpful friend that she is, she called the Public Health Centre on my behalf to ask what documents I needed to bring. They confirmed the same documents and said that I can walk in any day between 9am-11am. They also said that technically I still could have done the shots today at the hospital, it’s just that hospitals and private clinics prefer to send newcomers for this “stamp of approval” from the Public Health Centre first to avoid any potential problems.
The flip side of the coin is that when I go to the Public Health Centre tomorrow, L tells me that they will actually give Daphne her vaccinations and that I don’t need to return to the hospital. They will also apparently give me a yellow card – my stamp of approval- for future vaccinations (hassle-free, I hope) at the Mackay hospital.