Hajj and Umrah Vaccinations

Meningococcal, polio and measles-mumps-mumps vaccines are recommended for people going to Hajj and Umrah.

Meningococcal vaccine administration:

Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis that can lead to death. The bacteria can cause meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and inflammation of the blood and, less commonly, pneumonia and inflammation of the heart and joints. Meningococcal bacteria are transmitted from person to person by airborne droplets or droplets in the respiratory secretions of people who carry the bacteria, by contact or through the mouth when coughing or sneezing. Transmission can occur through coughing, sneezing and contact with oral and nasal secretions.

The incidence of meningococcal disease is highest in the world in the meningitis belt in the middle of the African continent, called sub-Saharan Africa (from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east). Large crowds of millions of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims from other countries, especially from this region, create a favorable environment for the transmission and spread of meningococcal disease if preventive measures are not taken. Frequent hand washing is the most important prevention method for all infectious diseases. In addition, as preventive measures, it is important to cover the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and not to share personal items such as towels, cups, etc. Vaccination against the disease is the most important step in the prevention of meningococcal infections.

Saudi Arabia requires that adults and children older than two years of age coming from all countries for Hajj, Umrah and seasonal work be vaccinated with at least one dose of quadrivalent (ACYW135) vaccine. The Ministry of Health recommends the administration of quadrivalent conjugated meningococcal vaccine for the protection of children 2 years of age and younger, in addition to children over 2 years of age going to Hajj and Umrah. The vaccine (ACW135Y-Tetanus Toxoid) is effective against diseases caused by A, C, Y, W135 types of the bacteria. The vaccination scheme is 3 doses in infants between 6 weeks and 7 months, two doses between 7-12 months, and a single dose in those older than 12 months, given at appropriate intervals. In order to ensure protection, the vaccination scheme to be recommended by your doctor must be completed 10 days before the Hajj and Umrah visit.

Polio vaccine administration:

It is recommended to administer OPA (oral polio vaccine) at least four weeks before departure, if possible.

MMR (Measles-Rubella-Mumps) Vaccination:

It is recommended for those who have not received the two registered doses of MMR vaccine.