Saudi Vaccination Mandates for Hajj and Umrah Pilgrims

As millions of Muslims from all over the world converge at the time of Hajj and Umrah rituals, Haramain gets filled with a sea of pilgrims. Many of these pilgrims are traveling from low-income countries with minimal access to healthcare, thus, the risk of infectious diseases’ outbreak increases dramatically. In order to ensure the health and safety of everyone, The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) has therefore stipulated those mandatory vaccinations have to be carried out prior to Hajj and Umrah visas being issued to the pilgrims i.e., it’s one of the requirements in a visa application form. However, the vaccination requirements may vary for every individual depending on his/her region of travel with hajj packages from UK.

Here’s a brief description of the necessary vaccinations required for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.

Meningococcal meningitis.

Meningococcal meningitis is an infection that can affect the brain membrane i.e., causing severe brain damage and can also be fatal if left untreated. Since outbreaks of meningitis have been recorded during Hajj in 1987, 2000, and 2001, it’s now necessary for all pilgrims to vaccinate themselves against Meningococcal meningitis.

Anyone intending to perform Hajj or Umrah from any part of the world, no matter the age, is required to produce and submit a valid certificate of vaccination against quadrivalent (A/C/Y/W135) meningococcal meningitis infection to the relevant authorities. Despite this, pilgrims arriving from countries within the African Meningitis Belt will also be given antibiotics (Ciprofloxacin) on their entry to the kingdom as an additional precautionary measure.

Yellow fever.

Yellow fever remains a serious viral infection that is spread by certain types of mosquitoes. Since, it is predominantly found in sub-Saharan Africa, South America, and certain parts of the Caribbean; all pilgrims arriving from these countries will be required a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. The vaccination must be administered within the last 10 years and no less than 10 days prior to their departure to Saudia Arabia. Otherwise, those pilgrims who are arriving in Saudia Arabia without a valid yellow fever certificate will be vaccinated there and then put under surveillance/quarantine for 6 days at least.

Poliomyelitis (Polio).

Polio is a viral illness that can potentially cause temporary or permanent paralysis in the body. It was a common illness in the UK and other parts of the world, but the cases have now dramatically decreased as vaccinations for polio were introduced. However, polio is still an existing outbreak in some countries. That’s why proof of receipt of a dose of an oral polio vaccine (OPV), or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) is required from pilgrims.

The vaccine must be administered within the previous 12 months and at least 4 weeks before arrival in Saida Arabia, regardless of age or vaccination status. Some pilgrims would also receive a further single dose of oral polio vaccine (OPV) upon arrival in Saudi Arabia as well.

These are some of the Saudi Vaccination mandates for hajj and umrah pilgrims.

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