Vaccinations for Your Children in Korea

While outbreaks like MERS have been fairly rare in Korea in recent years, it is still important to keep your child up-to-date on all of his or her vaccinations. There are certain vaccinations that you will need in order to enter into Korea and some that are recommended. Routine vaccinations are a good way to start. Make sure that you have all the vaccinations that you would normally have in your home country like MMR, chickenpox, polio, and the flu shot. 

 

Side Notes: Tuberculosis (TB) used to be a much bigger problem in Korea than it is today. In order to keep down the cases of TB in Korea, the Korean government is very strict about declaring any sorts of diseases when entering the country. It is also not uncommon to require a TB test for boarding schools, universities, or any other place that includes long-term living in large groups of people. You can get your TB test done at almost any clinic or hospital in Korea, unless it is a specialty clinic. The cost for getting a TB test is low (generally around 30-50,000 won although prices can vary especially over time). This is true even for those who don’t have insurance. 

 

Another important note is malaria. While malaria is a very rare case in Korea, it might be a good idea to get malaria pills for you and the rest of your family. There is a remote region to the northeast of Korea (near the DPRK) that has a malaria warning. Should you ever vacation there, it might be necessary to take such medication. However, a more important reason would be should you ever vacation outside of Korea. Unlike Korea, a lot of Southeast Asian countries have malaria warnings and parts of China as well. It might make things a lot easier for you and your family if you already have that kind of medication ready. It shouldn’t be difficult to acquire it from a travel clinic in your home country as it is common request. While Korean clinics and hospitals will also be able to prescribe this type of medicine for you and your family as well, it might be lengthier process for you in Korea than it would be at home if you’re not familiar with getting prescriptions in Korea. 

 

You can check exactly what you shots you need to take and which ones are recommended from official organizations like the CDC here (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/children/south-korea?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-leftnav-traveler) However, it’s still a good idea to meet with a travel doctor in advance in case there are special warnings out for the area that you are going to live. There also might be special recommendations the doctor gives for children of different ages and with different tolerance levels and allergies.

Health and Wellbeing