Hajj and Umrah Immunisation
Hajj and umrah is held at one of Islam’s oldest and most holy sites, Mecca which is located within Saudi Arabia. Hajj is seen to have a spiritual merit that provides Muslim’s with an opportunity of self-renewal. Umrah offers an opportunity for Muslims to refresh their faith, seek forgiveness and pray for their needs. Thousands of people attend these gatherings every year however, are you aware of the requirements needed to enter Saudi Arabia for this gathering?
What is the hajj & umrah requirements in 2023?
The hajj & umrah religious event that is attended every year by thousands require individual’s travelling from various countries to have their meningitis vaccination and will need to provide proof of their vaccination in order to enter Saudi Arabia.
It is recommended that all pilgrims attending hajj & umrah regardless of their age must be vaccinated with ACWY meningitis vaccine. Pilgrims aged 2 and above attending the religious gathering are required to present a certificate of vaccination. This certificate must have been issued at least 10 days before you arrive to Saudi Arabia.
The ACWY vaccination has been a compulsory entry requirement to enter Saudi Arabia for hajj & umrah, and for other travellers since 2002. The vaccination will protect travellers against meningitis and septicaemia caused by the four different strains: A,C,W,Y. Vaccination is recommended for travellers who will be living or working with local people or visiting during an outbreak.
Who shouldn’t attend (Hajj & Umrah) this year?
As millions of pilgrims and travellers from all over the world which come from low-income countries with minimal access to healthcare, the risk of infectious disease increases dramatically. Vaccination requirements vary depending on the country you’re travelling from.
The Saudi ministry of health recommends that international pilgrims be vaccinated against seasonal influenza before arriving in Saudi Arabia. Those who are more at risk of contracting severe influenzas diseases should not attend the hajj and umrah religious event this year for the benefit of their own health as well as others. Individuals who are:
- Children under 5 years
- Individuals with underlying health conditions such as HIV/AIDS, asthma and chronic heart or lung diseases.
It’s important to note that any vaccines to receive for your upcoming travels to Saudi Arabia may have side effects. It’s important to receive your immunisation for hajj & umrah well before your departure date. In addition, this will enable the vaccine to build immunity in your body.