Do I need any kind of vaccinations?
A certificate of vaccination against Meningococcal Meningitis is required from all visitors from all over the world arriving for the purpose of Umrah or Hajj. The certificate must have been issued not more than three years and not less than ten days before arrival to Saudi Arabia.
The responsible authorities in the country from where the visitor comes must ensure that vaccination has been carried out as follows:
- Adults and children over the age of two years must receive the vaccination against meningococcal meningitis with the quadrivalent vaccine (serogroups A,C, Y and W135).
- Children between 3 months and 2 years of age must be given two doses of the A vaccine with a 3-month interval between the two doses.
It must be ensured that all visitors from countries in the African meningitis belt have been vaccinated in their countries, not more than 3 years and not less than 10 days before arrival. This should be documented on the vaccination certificate. Visitors from these countries will be checked at entry points to ensure that they are vaccinated. Suspect cases shall be isolated and preventive measures will be taken in respect of their direct contacts. If the authenticity of the vaccination certificate is felt to be questionable, revaccination is to be carried out. Chemoprophylaxis will be administered to all visitors from these countries to lower the carrier rate among them.
All travelers arriving from countries known to be infected with yellow fever (as shown in the World Health Organization [WHO] Weekly Epidemiological Record) must present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate in accordance with the International Health Regulations. In the absence of such a certificate, the person will be vaccinated upon arrival and placed under strict surveillance for 6 days from the day of vaccination or the last date of potential exposure to infection - whichever is earlier. Health offices available at entry points will be responsible for notifying the appropriate Director General of Health Affairs in the region about the place of residence of the visitor.
Make sure you take your vaccination certificates with you to Saudi Arabia.
Where do I go if I am ill? Are there any hospitals in Makkah?
There are many hospitals which provide free healthcare for pilgrims. There are also some private, fee-charging hospitals.
Are over-the-counter medicines available in Makkah? Where do I buy them?
Most over-the-counter medicine is available at pharmacies in Makkah. If you are used to a particular brand of medicine or if you take prescribed medication, it is recommended you bring adequate supplies of these.