Vaccinations for China

China has much appeal to many potential tourists and businesspeople alike. Being an epicenter for history, culture, commerce, and business, there are countless reasons as to why someone would want to visit the fourth largest country in the world. As with many countries within the world, it is often recommended that one receives vaccines before visiting. Continue reading to find out more.

Vaccinations for China

1. For All Travelers

Routine Vaccines – When one is travelling to any destination, they should ensure that they are up-to-date on routine vaccines, including the yearly flu shot, measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, and polio vaccine.

2. For Most Travelers

  • Hepatitis A: This vaccine is recommended as there is a chance of contracting hepatitis A from contaminated water or food in China.
  • Typhoid: One may also get typhoid from contaminated water or food in China, which is why this vaccine is recommended. This is especially true if you are visiting rural areas, staying with relatives or friends, or if you have an adventurous appetite.

3. For Some Travelers

  • Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B can be caught through sexual contact, needles which are contaminated with the disease, and blood products. For this reason, vaccinations for China can often include hepatitis B vaccine, especially if you are planning on having sexual relations, getting a tattoo or piercing, or undergoing any medical procedures.
  • Japanese Encephalitis: If you are plan to visit the country for longer than a month, travel in a certain time of the year, visit rural areas or spend a lot of time outdoors, then you may wish to consider attaining this vaccine.
  • Polio: This is especially true if you are going to be doing any work within a facility for health care, at a camp for refugees, or other humanitarian aid environments. If you received polio vaccination as a child but never received the boost shot as an adult, then you should have this done. You only need this once in your adult life. If you are unaware to your vaccination status, then speak with your doctor.
  • Rabies: Rabies is carried by dogs, bats and other mammals within China. For this reason, this vaccine is recommended if: you are planning on doing outdoor activities whilst in the country (such as camping, biking, hiking, et cetera); you are going to be working with animals; you are going to China for a long period of time (or moving there indefinitely); or if you are a child, as children often have a tendency to play with animal unbeknownst of the risk it may pertain.
  • Malaria: Malaria can be caught via the bite of a mosquito. Prescription medication can work to ensure malaria does not develop, as well as employing counter-mosquito tactics. If you are planning on spending extended periods of time outdoors, then speak with your doctor to best ascertain how to fend off malaria.
  • Yellow Fever: There is no risk of yellow fever in China. This vaccination is only required on the list of vaccinations for China if you are travelling to the country from a country which has a prevalence of yellow fever (this does not include the United States).

Watch this video to learn more information about travelling to China.

Water and Food Safety

As one may have guessed, it is important to consider water and food safety when travelling to China. In regards to water, one should only drink bottled water. If you are staying in a hotel, free bottled water is often supplied.

If you are aware of the fact that you have an overly sensitive stomach, then it would be wise to avoid the consumption of any vegetables in their raw state whilst visiting China. Cooked food and peeled fruit should pose no problem when consumed.

In regards to eating out, you have to try and judge the suitability of an eatery. If the restaurant is crowded (especially with locals), then the food is likely fresh and delicious. If you come across an empty restaurant, then it may be best avoided: that being said, just because a restaurant is empty, doesn’t mean the food is not quality.

Basic Tips and Precautions

Whilst in China you will not struggle to find a supplier of medicine, although trying to ascertain what each medicine is can be extremely difficult if your grasp on the Chinese language is insufficient. For this reasons, along with getting the right vaccinations for China, and ensuring to be careful of what you eat and drink, it would also be wise to take the following items with you when you travel:

  • Band-Aids
  • Antibacterial cream/ointment
  • Headache medicine
  • Medicine to treat diarrhea/upset stomach
  • Allergy medication
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Cold medication
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