Mass gatherings such as Hajj and Umrah pose significant health risks due to a large number of participants. The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MoH) has issued entry visa requirements and guidelines for pilgrims and seasonal workers wishing to visit the Kingdom for the upcoming Hajj and Umrah festivals. The standards and suggestions may vary from year to year. Keep reading to find out more about where you can get Hajj and Umrah vaccines in Exeter.
What are Hajj and Umrah?
The yearly pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which takes place between the eighth and twelfth days of the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar, is one of the world’s largest mass gatherings. In 2022, the Hajj will take place between July 7 and July 12.
Every year, over three million Muslims from all over the world do Hajj in Mecca. All willing and able adult Muslims are required to perform Hajj at least once in their lifetime if they can afford it. On April 9, 2022, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah noted that one million pilgrims from all over the world and from Saudi Arabia would be allowed to do Hajj 20221443H. Each country would be allowed a certain number of pilgrims to enter Saudi Arabia.
Umrah is a shorter, non-required pilgrimage that Muslims can perform at any time as part of the Hajj ritual. Those who wish to conduct Umrah from the United Kingdom should monitor the FCDO’s official social media channels as well as the guidance of local authorities.
Preparing your Hajj and Umrah vaccines in Exeter – how to get jabs and medical advice
Before embarking on any journey ahead of or after Hajj or Umrah, pilgrims may want to get medical advice.
At least four to six weeks prior to completing Hajj, pilgrims should verify they have had all routine immunisations and confer with their physician. This is for advice on vaccinations and other things to do, like how to avoid heat exhaustion, malaria, health problems from bug bites, and getting hurt.
The Hajj rites are difficult to complete due to the extensive distances that must be travelled in harsh heat. Before embarking on a pilgrimage, pilgrims should ensure that they are fit and healthy, and those with preexisting medical conditions should visit a doctor. They should bring enough medicine for the whole trip, as well as extra doses in case they get stuck somewhere, and a copy of their prescription.
Learn how to protect your skin from extreme heat and sun in our previous blog post here:
Hajj and Umrah vaccines in Exeter – what do I need?
The following vaccines are based on Hajj requirements from previous years in Saudi Arabia.
Do you need the meningitis vaccine for Umrah?
Anyone performing Hajj or Umrah or working seasonally is required to provide confirmation of meningococcal disease immunisation (proof of a vaccination certificate). The certificate should include vaccination information.
According to the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health, travellers from countries with active transmission of cVDPV2 (circulating wild or vaccine-derived poliovirus 2) and those at risk of polio reintroduction must have a valid polio vaccination certificate.
Vaccination against Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is transmitted via skin and sexual contact. Percutaneous transmission can occur when contaminated medical, dental, or other devices are used; all pilgrims should consider being vaccinated against hepatitis B before departing to avoid acquiring the disease.
In Saudi Arabia, rabies is a danger. Pilgrims should be warned about the dangers of both domestic and wild animals and told to get medical help right away if they are bitten, licked, or scratched.
Influenza is transmitted through the lungs or by coming into contact with surfaces that have been contaminated by coughing or sneezing. It can be transferred easily in heavily populated areas.
Are COVID vaccines required for travel to Saudi Arabia as part of Hajj and Umrah vaccines in Exeter?
In the case of COVID-19, a large gathering could hasten the virus’s spread and impede the ability of the host nation to respond. Pilgrims must therefore adhere to the preventative and control measures implemented by the authorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to decrease the risk of transmission and the subsequent impact on health facilities. The following are some of the steps you can take:
– Limitations on crowd size and crowd movement management
– Maintaining a physical distance
– Cough and respiratory procedure
– Hand washing protocols
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah stated on April 9, 2022, that people who want to attend Hajj must show proof of:
– The vaccination against COVID-19 that has been confirmed and verified by the Saudi Ministry of Health.
– A COVID-19 PCR test that came back negative within 72 hours of leaving for Saudi Arabia.
Residents and visitors must complete a Registration Immunisation Form on the Muqeem Portal before travelling.