There are a number of vaccines you could need before taking a trip to Saudi Arabia. If you’re coming from within the UK, then you’ll need the vaccine against Meningococcal Meningitis.
Anyone over the age of 2 making an Umrah or Hajj pilgrimage, or even anyone planning on a work trip to the Hajj area, will need to bring a certificate of vaccination. You’ll have to bring one that’s been issued no longer than 3 years ago and no less than 10 days before the flight. If you’re coming from the UK, you won’t even be able to get a visa for your trip unless you’ve got the certificate proving this while you apply .
Adults and children over the age of 2 years arriving for the purpose of Umrah or Hajj pilgrimage (or for seasonal work in the Hajj area) are required to produce a certificate of vaccination with quadrivalent vaccine against meningitis which has been issued not more than 3 years and no less than 10 days prior to arrival in Saudi Arabia. Certificates are not normally required from other categories of visitors or expatriate workers.
- In the UK, visas will not be issued unless proof of vaccination, at least 10 days prior to the expected date of entry, is submitted with the visa application.
Requirements from Countries other than the UK
The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health has other vaccination requirements for Hajj pilgrims entering from countries other than the UK:
Yellow Fever – All travellers arriving from countries known to be infected with Yellow Fever (as per WHO) must present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate.
- View countries with risk yellow fever virus transmission.
Poliomyelitis – All travellers arriving from countries that have polio virus circulating or from countries at high risk of re-importation of polio virus regardless of age and vaccination status, should receive one dose of oral polio vaccine.
View affected countries on the Ministry of Health website.
Finally, every pilgrim should bring their own personal first aid kit with them so that they’re fully prepared for what the trip will throw at them. In a small bag, pack:
- fabric plasters, bandages and dressings
- scissors, safety pins and tape
- antiseptic cream, antihistamine and sunburn lotion
- rehydration salts
- analgesics and paracetamol for pain
- antidiarrhoeal tablets or agents (such as azithromycin)
Wishing you a happy and healthy pilgrimage!