Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Meningitis Vaccine Part 1

As millions of pilgrims from all over the world converge, many of which are from low-income countries with minimal access to healthcare, the risk of infectious disease increases dramatically. The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) have therefore stipulated that mandatory vaccinations have to be carried out prior to Hajj and Umrah visas being issued. Vaccination requirements vary depending on the country you are travelling from. For Jamaah from Indonesia, before being allowed to enter Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj or Umrah, you will need to have had certain Meningitis Vaccinations.

Meningococcal meningitis

Meningococcal meningitis is a serious infection that can affect the brain membrane, causing severe brain damage and can be fatal if left untreated. Outbreaks of meningitis have been recorded during Hajj in 1987, 2000 and 2001.

Anyone intending to perform Hajj or Umrah from any part of the world is required to produce a valid certificate of vaccination against quadrivalent (A/C/Y/W135) meningococcal meningitis infection.

There are two types of meningococcal meningitis vaccines – polysaccharide and conjugate.

Polysaccharide vaccine – administered in the last 3 years and no less than 10 days prior to arrival in Saudi Arabia.

Conjugate vaccine – administered in the last 8 years and no less than 10 days prior to arrival in Saudi Arabia.

Both are acceptable for the issuance of the visa although the conjugate vaccine is recommended.

Applies to all adults and children above the age of 2.

Additionally, pilgrims arriving from countries within the African Meningitis Belt (Benin; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Chad; Central African Republic; Cote d’Ivoire; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gambia; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Mali; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal, Sudan and South Sudan) will also be given antibiotics (Ciprofloxacin) at the port of entry as additional precautionary measure.

Proof of vaccination must be submitted with the visa application no less than 10 days prior to your arrival in Saudi Arabia.

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