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Vaccinations for moving to Hong Kong

Before you travel always ensure that your vaccinations are up to date and that you follow the guidelines set out by your healthcare practitioner.

Vaccinations protect you against disease, and can save your life. The following guidance is compiled by the US-based Centre for Disease Control (CDC). You should check with your own national health authorities for advice about necessary vaccinations you may need for travelling to Hong Kong.

The CDC recommends immunisation against:

  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid
  • Polio
  • Rubella
  • Tuberculosis

Other health risks

In December 2017, the Hong Kong Department of Health issued a warning about Dengue Fever. 99 cases have been reported, arriving via travellers from Thailand, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. The department’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) has advised all Hong Kong residents wear long sleeved clothing, ensure that drains are clean and use insect repellent containing DEET (N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide). There isn’t a vaccination against dengue fever. The CHP also recommends that you follow the same precautions to protect yourself against malaria and Zika, other mosquito-born diseases. This is simply good practice as only one instance of Zika has been reported and few cases of malaria have been recorded in rural areas.

Rabies is present in bats in Hong Kong, so it’s sensible to get vaccinated against this disease if you’re likely to travel somewhere where you might encounter bats. Caving or exploring remote wilderness areas are two examples.

Hepatitis C is mainly caught from use of contaminated needles and unprotected sexual activity. As yet, there isn’t a vaccination against the virus. The best advice is to be careful, always use protection during sexual encounters, and ensure that if you are having tattoo, that the salon uses sterile needles. The same guidelines apply if you’re considering going for an acupuncture session, or even if you want to have a piercing. Hepatitis B can be caught in the same ways. Thankfully, there is a vaccination against this strain of the hepatitis virus.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) first appeared in Hong Kong in 2003. As a result, you’ll still notice some people wearing masks as they go about their daily business. The disease is managed by an efficient public health information service run by the CHP, and there are no reported outbreaks of SARS in Hong Kong.

Avian Influenza is classified as a notifiable disease. Though there are currently no reported cases in Hong Kong, CHP has issued a guidance sheet in case of an outbreak of this deadly virus.