In China, the general populace follows the vaccination schedule; still, it is recommended for travelers to get vaccinated for certain diseases before taking a trip to China. Visit your doctor 4-8 weeks before your trip and get the required shots.
Here is a low-down on recommended immunization shots if you are traveling to China.
- In the China immunization schedule, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines are compulsory for all citizens. Still, these are recommended for all travelers irrespective of whether they are visiting towns or cities. Hepatitis A is advised for everybody over one year of age.
- Vaccination for typhoid for travelers who may eat food outside of big hotels or restaurants is highly advocated.
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) shots are suggested for everybody born after 1956, provided that they had already not been affected by these three diseases earlier.
- Japanese encephalitis vaccine is endorsed for travelers who would be spending a long period of time in rural China. This is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes to humans. In the China vaccination schedule, this is required for all citizens, but travelers are advised to get immunization shots as mosquitoes can transfer the virus to both new animal and human hosts. In China, Japanese encephalitis is more prevalent during the summer and autumn, so travelers must remain extra vigilant during these seasons. If you are planning to spend a lot of time outdoors doing activities such as hiking and camping, then do not neglect this shot even if you are in China for a few days only.
- Rabies vaccine is recommended for travelers spending a majority of their time outdoors.
- Yellow fever vaccine is a must for travelers who are arriving in China from countries where risk of yellow fever is present. Even if you have been in transit to a country with risk of yellow fever, you have to get vaccinated for the same before coming to China. All other vaccines are only recommended for travelers, but immunization against yellow fever for all travelers is compulsory. In China, immunization schedule for certain outbreaks is very stringent. Carry proof of vaccination if you are traveling to China from an endemic zone.
Other Precautions for Travelers
- Carry a first aid kit with you at all times. It must be stocked with antibiotics and pills for diarrhea. If diarrhea occurs for more than 72 hours, consult a doctor.
- Risk of malaria is not high in urban Chinese areas, but when traveling to rural areas, it is recommended to wear long-sleeved shirts. Ask your doctor for malaria prevention medications.
- Carry insect repellants with you when in rural China.