Taiwan Vaccines & Health Issues
for English Teachers
Health preparation and vaccination for Taiwan
Before moving to Formosa to teach English, you'll want to consider the following health issues and make sure you've got the proper vaccines for Taiwan.
If you're used to traveling to exotic locales, you'll be happy to know that Taiwan doesn't subject you to a barrage of painful vaccinations that make you feel sick for two weeks. The country is largely very clean and has effective disease prevention.
Before you take off for Taiwan, there are a few important things to know. First, know that if you are HIV positive, you are absolutely not eligible for a resident visa.
Required Vaccination for Taiwan
Even with Taiwan's relative cleanliness, some vaccinations will be necessary, especially if you haven't done a lot of traveling before. Make sure all of your routine vaccines are up to date, such as flu and measles/mumps/rubella (MMR). If you have no idea when the last time you last had these shots was, it may be the right time to ask your doctor. You should get vaccines for Hepatitis A and B as well. Hepatitis is far less common in Taiwan than it was a couple decades ago, but getting vaccinated for it is clearly a good idea.
Finally, a vaccine that you most likely haven't had unless you been to Asia before is Japanese encephalitis. This is particularly important if you plan to spend time in rural or farming areas, though even those cases the risk of infection is extremely low.
Prescription Medicines in Taiwan
While it's always a good idea to make sure you're in good health, it will not be totally necessary that you prepare all of your health needs before arriving in Taiwan. Most prescription medicines are available, and nearly every medical procedure that would be required is done. Also, as an English teacher you will be included in Taiwan's universal health care system, making procedures very inexpensive.
Some newer drugs and prescriptions are not easy or possible to find in Taiwan. So, if you have medications that you rely on and aren't really willing to experiment with different versions (birth control would be a good example) you may want to stock up before making your way over.
Condoms in Taiwan
The same goes for condoms. In Taiwan, generally the only reliable brand is Durex, which until recently didn't even operate on the island. If you dislike Durex it's not recommended to give the other local brands a shot as the level of reliability takes a dip, so you may want to bring your own.