One of the most important things that you need to do before performing the Umrah pilgrimage is to ensure that you are physically fit and healthy enough to go. When it comes to the trip, just getting there can be quite a daunting experience, especially when you are travelling from a cold country, such as the UK, to a completely different climate in Saudi Arabia.
Before you perform the Umrah pilgrimage, you also need to make sure that you undergo the correct medical procedures, which includes health checks and vaccines. But what do these actually include?
Umrah Vaccination Requirements
No matter where you are travelling from, it is required by Saudi Arabian law that visitors from any country arriving for the Umrah, or Hajj, pilgrimage, or if you are arriving for seasonal work, must produce a certificate of vaccination against the meningococcal meningitis infection ACWY.
For visa purposes, there are two types of vaccines that are valid:
- Conjugate vaccine – this is a single dose that is given no more than 8 years and not less than 10 days prior to arriving in Saudi Arabia
- Polysaccharide vaccine – this is also a single dose but it is given no more than 3 years and no less than 10 days prior to arriving in Saudi Arabia
There are additional requirements if visitors are arriving from countries that reside in the African Meningitis Belt.
Additional Requirements from Countries Other Than the UK
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health has also listed that countries other than the UK need to undergo additional vaccination requirements that include the following:
- Yellow Fever– all travellers arriving from countries known to be infected with Yellow Fever (as stated by the WHO) must present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate
- Poliomyelitis– regardless of age and vaccination status, proof of receipt of a dose of oral or inactivated polio vaccine within the past 12 months, and at least for weeks prior, is required for visa purposes from certain countries around the world.
Other Requirements from UK Residents
It is also important that residents from the UK that are travelling for their Umrah pilgrimage are up to date on their recommended immunizations; this consists of five doses of tetanus and polio vaccines.
However, if the traveller’s last polio vaccination was more than ten years ago, then a booster dose should be given.
There are also the following vaccines that should be taken, recommended by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health:
- Seasonal Influenza– for people that have an increased risk of getting this, such as pregnant women, children under five years old, the elderly, and those with chest or heart diseases, it is recommended to get this vaccination before arriving
- Measles and Rubella– it is strongly recommended that these vaccine-preventable diseases have updated immunizations. Make sure that you are immune, either from previous immunization (two doses of the MMR vaccine) or natural measles infection
Once you have taken these vaccinations into consideration, your health should be good enough for you to go on your spiritual journey to Mecca and/or Medina.
At Hajj and Umra Express, we always want to make sure that you have the most memorable time on your Umrah pilgrimage, which is why we put so much care and thought into our Umrah packages.