With the Hajj season getting closer, you might be aware that there are certain the health regulations for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage which includes getting the required vaccines before entering Saudi Arabia. The Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage is probably one of the most awaited journeys for Muslim travelers, during which you would want to be healthy and present
The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has strict regulations in place for travelers who are coming from different parts of the world, especially regions where there is a higher risk of certain contagious diseases. Read on to find out more about the Hajj and Umrah Health requirements before you travel to Saudi Arabia for your pilgrimage
Muslim travelers will need to adhere to the Hajj and Umrah health requirements that have been put in place to reduce the risk of spreading or re-introducing serious diseases. The vaccines that are required for pilgrims are listed below.
Children over two years old and adults who are traveling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Umrah will need to show a valid certificate indicating that the polysaccharide meningococcal vaccine (ACYW135) has been issued within the last 3 years, or the alternate approved vaccine the conjugate vaccine (ACYW135) has been issued within the last 5 years. Additionally, these vaccines need to be administered a minimum of ten days before entering the country
If you are traveling from a country where there is a known risk of yellow fever, you will need to submit a certificate indicating that you have been vaccinated ten days before entering Saudi Arabia. This vaccine is valid for a lifetime.
You will need to find out if this vaccine is necessary, especially if you are traveling from certain African or South American countries.
Certain countries still have a high risk of poliomyelitis, and travelers to Saudi Arabia from these countries at risk will need to show a valid vaccine certificate.
Vaccine requirements include a single dose of bivalent oral polio vaccine (OPV), or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) that must be issued within the previous 12 months and a minimum of 4 weeks before entering the country.
As recommended by the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia, visitors should also get vaccinated against seasonal influenza which is quite contagious in crowded areas. This vaccine is especially important for elderly travelers who are over 65 years old with health issues such as heart or lung diseases, obesity, HIV/AIDS or weak immune systems. This includes pregnant women and children over 5 years old too
This importance of this vaccine is stressed to reduce the risk of influenza and to ensure that pilgrims will be healthy enough to perform Hajj and Umrah – and go back home in good health too.
There are other health risks that Muslim travelers should be aware of when traveling for Hajj and Umrah. Health specialists have noted that pilgrims need to protect themselves against diseases which can be contracted in crowded areas by taking extra steps to remain healthy during and after the pilgrimage.
All the more reason to carry mosquito repellent while traveling. There are countries with a high risk of dengue and the ZIKA virus which are very contagious, and it’s better to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
It’s very important that you wash your hands well before eating and after going to the washroom. Proper hygiene practices will help you avoid water or foodborne diseases.
Saudi Arabia does permit well-sealed and canned food to be brought into the country, however, pilgrims should take precautions by not consuming food that has been exposed or badly stored. Additionally, it’s better to consume food from the main cities and well-known areas just to be safe.
It’s always better to be prepared with at least a basic first-aid kit with items such as bandages, plasters, painkillers, cotton, skin ointments, rehydration salts, and skin wipes.
Do refer to this helpful checklist before going on your pilgrimage.
The key to a healthy, fulfilling Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage with your loved ones is possible with careful planning and by following the recommendations from health experts. So take the time to make sure everything is in order before going on your trip.