x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Haj pilgrims urged to get vaccines

The Abu Dhabi Health Authority has released the 2010 vaccine requirements for participation in Haj.

ABU DHABI // The Abu Dhabi Health Authority (HAAD) has released the 2010 vaccine requirements for participation in Haj.

Dr Farida al Hosani, Acting Section Head of Communicable Diseases at HAAD said "Two vaccinations would be given to the Haj pilgrims this year - one is the seasonal flu vaccine, which also provides protection against the H1N1 flu virus, and the second Meningococcal which provide protection against Meningitis."

Dr Farida emphasised the importance of taking the vaccines two weeks prior to travelling so that they provide maximum strength and immunity for the body and said that all Haj pilgrims are required to take them.

"Each year millions of people travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform Haj. Because of the sheer number of pilgrims, and their close proximity to each other in crowded sites, diseases - particularly the bacteria which cause meningitis - can spread quickly between the pilgrims," Dr. Farida added.

In line with HAAD's priority to prevent and control communicable diseases in the community, the Al Haj vaccination is available free of charge in a large number of clinics throughout the Emirate, said a release.

HAAD will distribute educational material about Al Haj to Health care facilities to increase awareness about Haj recommendations and requirements.

All pilgrims must show proof of the vaccination for Seasonal Flu and Meningococcal vaccination on a valid certificate of vaccination (International Certificate of Vaccination or Authorised Vaccination Card) before entering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform Al Haj.