Hajj is a very personal journey for many Muslims. It is meant to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and every Muslim is meant to make the pilgrimage once in their life. Pilgrims come to pray near the holy city of Mecca. It takes place once a year. But in order to enter the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, several vaccinations are required for each person coming in. It is estimated that around 2-3 million people make the annual trip.
What Vaccinations Are Needed?
- Yellow fever – Any travelers who are arriving from countries that are at risk of yellow fever need to show a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate before entering the country.
- Rabies – Many wild and rabid mammals can be found in Saudi Arabia. While it is most important to stay away from these animals, if a bite should happen, you need to be vaccinated against rabies.
- Meningitis – Since there is such an incredibly diverse and large group of people, it can be a breeding ground for meningitis to spread. It is a required vaccine that is needed to take part in Hajj.
- Hepatitis A – This is a recommended vaccine for those who are one year of age or older. Six to eleven-month-olds should receive a vaccine against hepatitis A. But, this dose does not count towards the two-shot series of vaccinations.
- Typhoid – The CDC recommends that those who are staying with friends or are going to be seeing a smaller, more rural area, get vaccinated against typhoid.
- Polio – If the country you are coming from is polio-endemic, then it is highly recommended that you get a dose of oral polio vaccine. You should receive the vaccination at least six weeks before you leave for Saudi Arabia.
Keep Up With Your Routine Vaccines
Before you travel, make sure that you are up to date on your routine vaccinations. These include MMR, Shingles, Polio, and Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis. It is also important for you to receive the annual influenza vaccine.
What About COVID-19 Vaccines?
All tourists who are entering Saudi Arabia must submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination before you are allowed to obtain an Entry Visa. You are considered fully vaccinated if you have had two doses of approved vaccines. The approved vaccines include:
- Moderna (2 shots)
- Pfizer-BioNTech (2 shots)
- AstraZeneca (2 shots)
- SinoVac (2 shots) (considered fully vaccinated if a booster is received.)
- Johnson & Johnson (1 shot)
If you plan on traveling to Saudi Arabia, it is crucial that you receive your proper vaccinations before heading to the country.
Planning a Hajj pilgrimage? Make sure you can go with Passport Health. Call or book online to schedule your appointment today.
Jennifer Passmore is a stay-at-home mom, writer and beader. She loves creating art with her words and through her jewelry. She is also a passionate mental health advocate.