Before travelling to Saudi Arabia, you could require a variety of vaccinations. Numerous people go to Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage from the eighth to the thirteenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah. The Hajj is one of the largest yearly pilgrimages in the world. In contrast, the Umrah may be performed at any time during the year. While not required like Hajj, this pilgrimage is strongly advised for individuals of the Islamic religion. Mass gatherings like the Hajj and Umrah offer particular dangers to health because of their enormous numbers. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health (MoH) publishes guidelines and conditions for pilgrim entrance visas each year and seasonal employees who plan to go to Saudi Arabia during the upcoming Hajj and Umrah seasons. Muslims choose Umrah packages all-inclusive every year to conduct the rites associated with the Umrah and to go to Saudi Arabia’s sacred cities. Recommendations and requirements may change annually.
Vaccines that are necessary:
Every pilgrim should make sure they are up to date on their usual immunizations, especially the MMR and the diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccination. It is especially important for Hajj and Umrah travelers to get vaccinated against the following illnesses:
According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, pilgrims must provide documentation of having completed a full course of COVID-19 immunizations that have been approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health. For more information, see Ministry of Health Approved Vaccines. It is advised that those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised have had a booster shot. A PCR test is no longer necessary to undertake the Hajj or visit Saudi Arabia.
Influenza spreads through the respiratory system and through direct or indirect contact with surfaces that have the virus on them from sneezing or coughing. It may spread quickly in crowded areas. Influenza complications are thought to be particularly likely to affect some groups. The Ministry of Health in KSA advises getting an influenza vaccination before travelling for the Hajj, Umrah, or to work seasonally in Hajj districts.
In the UK, eligible pilgrims should obtain the influenza vaccine every year from their regular healthcare provider. The vaccine is free for individuals in clinical risk categories.
Infection with meningococcal:
A valid vaccination certificate showing that the passenger had the quadrivalent (ACWY) meningococcal vaccine at least 10 days before the intended arrival to Umrah and Hajj areas is needed for all visitors over the age of one who are travelling for Umrah or Hajj or who are working seasonally in Hajj zones.
Additionally advised is the use of this vaccination to protect oneself from meningococcal diseases of groups A, C, W, and Y.
Travelers from nations reporting cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) or circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) are required to submit a polio vaccination certificate with at least one dose of bivalent oral polio vaccine (bopv) or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) within the previous 12 months and not less than four weeks prior to arrival, according to the Ministry of Health in KSA. This requirement applies regardless of age or vaccination status.
Strongly recommended immunization:
Viral hepatitis B:
The hepatitis B virus can be spread by sexual contact or through the skin. It is present in bodily fluids. All pilgrims should think about getting a hepatitis B vaccination before their journey since percutaneous transmission can happen when using infected medical, dental, or other tools. For men, shaving their heads is one of the Hajj and Umrah rituals. For every pilgrim, the KSA authorities give a fresh blade to a licensed barber. The same may not be true for barbers who lack a license. Shaving with a discarded blade should be avoided by pilgrims.
The yellow fever:
In the UK, there is no threat of YF. This YF certificate requirement will thus only be applicable to pilgrims from the UK if they are coming to KSA via an YF-risk nation rather than from the UK straight to KSA.