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Vaccination and Health Risks

Your doctor can give you important advice and prescribe vaccines and medications to help you stay safe while traveling abroad. The following are vaccinations and medications you and your physician may wish to consider before travel to China.

  • To have the most benefit, see a doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect. If you are leaving sooner, it is still important to see a doctor as soon as possible for vaccines, medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.
  • Your doctor will make specific recommendations, depending on your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, planned activities and other factors. If your travel plans will take you to more than one country during a single trip, be sure to let your health-care provider know. Long-term travelers, such as those who plan to work or study abroad, may also need additional vaccinations as required by their employer or school.
  • If you have a chronic medical condition, share your travel plans with any doctors who are currently treating you.

Vaccine or Disease

Risk

Vaccination or Treatment Recommendations

Routine Recommended if you are not up-to-date with routine shots such as, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.
Hepatitis A Recommended because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in China, regardless of where you are eating or staying.
Hepatitis B Recommended, especially for those who have sexual contact, contaminated needles, blood products, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.
Japanese Encephalitis Recommended: Human cases reported from all provinces except Xizang (Tibet), Xinjiang, and Qinghai. Most human cases reported during June-October. Highest rates reported from Guizhou, Shaanxi, Sichuan, and Yunnan provinces, and Chongqing City. Vaccine not routinely recommended for travel limited to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong City/Kowloon, Macau, or other major cities.
Malaria Recommended; present in the counties along the China-Burma (Myanmar) border in Yunnan Province. Limited transmission in Motuo County in Tibet. No malaria in areas where most major river cruises pass. Along China-Burma (Myanmar) border in the western part of Yunnan Province: Atovaquone-proguanil or doxycycline. Motuo county in Tibet: Mosquito avoidance only.
Meningococcal Meningitis Not endemic
Polio Recommended: You may need a polio vaccine before your trip to China if you are visiting the Xinjiang province, especially if you are working in a health care facility, refugee camp, or humanitarian aid setting. This kind of work might put you in contact with someone with polio. If you were vaccinated against polio as a child but have never had an polio booster dose as an adult, you should get this booster dose. Adults need only one polio booster in their lives.
Rabies Recommended for travelers involved in outdoor and other activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites, people who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers), people who are taking long trips or moving to China, and children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.
Typhoid Recommended, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.
Yellow Fever Required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and e9 months of age, including transit >12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. This requirement does not apply to travelers whose itineraries are limited to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and Macao SAR.

Resource Links

This document is not a complete medical guide for travelers to this region. Conditions change over time and the recommendations for various countries at the time you travel may differ from the recommendations listed here. Consult with your doctor or visit the CDC website for specific information related to your needs and your medical history; recommendations may differ for pregnant women, young children, and persons who have chronic medical conditions.

Be sure to read the information about all the regions you are planning to visit.