For visitors and tourists, China does not require any particular vaccines unless you are arriving from a country that has a high risk of yellow fever.

If you’re traveling through or are a citizen of one of these countries with yellow fever risk, which are all located in Africa, Central & South America, you’ll likely already have a Yellow Fever vaccination anyway.

At no point during the China visa process will you be asked for proof of immunization.

The China vaccinations you choose are entirely voluntary and although many of us were immunized as children, the schedules have changed over time so it’s worth comparing what you have versus what is now recommended.

Recommended China Vaccinations Based on Destination

It makes a difference where you’re traveling in China and how long you’ll be there.

The Centers for Disease Control and most doctors recommend a wide range of vaccinations for China based on your length of stay and where exactly you’ll be headed to.

Vaccinations for China’s Big Cities

If you never plan to leave the major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong, routine immunizations usually cover you well. This is true whether you’re traveling as a tourist or living in the city as an expatriate.

These routine immunizations include:

Visiting China’s Rural Areas

For those travelers who have plans to travel outside the major cities but won’t be in the country for very long, the CDC recommends you consider the following vaccinations for China:

Recommendations for Traveling Long-Term into China’s Rural Areas

Finally, if you plan to venture into rural areas of China or hope to stay for a month or longer, the CDC recommends you discuss the following immunizations with your doctor:

Final Thoughts on Healthcare in China

The bottom line is that you need to ask your personal physician what they think about recommended vaccinations for China. Schedule an appointment at least 6 weeks in advance of your trip so that you have plenty of time to add any immunizations you don’t have.