You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel.
Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.
Get travel vaccines and medicines because there is a risk of these diseases in the country you are visiting.
CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in China, regardless of where you are eating or staying.
You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in China. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.
Ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US.
You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so CDC recommends this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.
You may need this vaccine if your trip will last more than a month, depending on where you are going in China and what time of year you are traveling. You should also consider this vaccine if you plan to visit rural areas in China or will be spending a lot of time outdoors, even for trips shorter than a month. Your doctor can help you decide if this vaccine is right for you based on your travel plans. See more in-depth information on Japanese encephalitis in China.
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 a polio booster dose as an adult, you should get this booster dose. Adults need only one polio booster in their lives.
If you were not completely vaccinated as a child or do not know your vaccination status, talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated.
Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in China, so CDC recommends this vaccine for the following groups:
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
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.
There is no risk of yellow fever in China. The government of China requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. This does not include the US. If you are traveling from a country other than the US, check this list to see if you may be required to get the yellow fever vaccine: Countries with risk of yellow fever virus (YFV) transmission.
For more information on recommendations and requirements, see yellow fever recommendations and requirements for China. Your doctor can help you decide if this vaccine is right for you based on your travel plans.
Note: Yellow fever vaccine availability in the United States is currently limited. If you need to be vaccinated before your trip, you may need to travel some distance and schedule your appointment well in advance. Find the clinic nearest you.
When traveling in China, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent malaria while traveling. Areas of China with risk of malaria: Rare cases in the counties along the China-Burma (Myanmar) border in Yunnan Province and Motuo County in Tibet. No malaria in areas where most major river cruises pass. See more detailed information about malaria in China.