Background: A yellow fever epidemic occurred in Angola in 2016 with 884 laboratory confirmed cases and 373 deaths. Eleven unvaccinated Chinese nationals working in Angola were also infected and imported the disease to China, thereby presenting the first importation of yellow fever into Asia. In Angola, there are about 259,000 Chinese foreign workers. The fact that 11 unvaccinated Chinese workers acquired yellow fever suggests that many more Chinese workers in Angola were not vaccinated.
Methods: We applied a previously developed model to back-calculate the number of unvaccinated Chinese workers in Angola in order to determine the extent of lack of vaccine coverage.
Results: Our models suggest that none of the 259,000 Chinese had been vaccinated, although yellow fever vaccination is mandated by the International Health Regulations.
Conclusion: Governments around the world including China need to ensure that their citizens obtain YF vaccination when traveling to countries where such vaccines are required in order to prevent the international spread of yellow fever.
Keywords: Air travel; Angola; Chinese; Importation; International health regulations; Proof of yellow fever vaccination; Yellow fever.