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22 June 2024

MoHAP urges Hajj pilgrims to get flu vaccination and follow all health guidelines and precautions

By E247
Vaccinations readily available across national health centers
Proactive measures to shield pilgrims and the community from infectious diseases
Ministy advises early health center visits before travel
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has called on all pilgrims heading to Saudi Arabia for Hajj to take the flu jab and receive all necessary vaccinations.
MoHAP advised to take all required basic doses at least 15 days before travelling to ensure the vaccine's effectiveness and provide sufficient immunity for prevention.
Pilgrims are also urged to ensure that their doses are registered on the international vaccination card by accredited health centres and to follow all instructions and precautions before and during travel.
As part of its commitment to safeguarding the health and safety of pilgrims from infectious diseases during Hajj and after their return, the Ministry emphasised that vaccination is mandatory, urging those going for Hajj to visit health centres well before departure, especially those with chronic diseases.
MoHAP added that it is important for travellers to ensure the availability of a sufficient supply of medications and to take all necessary and recommended immunizations, which are available at all approved health centres. Additionally, the ministry advised pilgrims to engage in regular exercise.
Prioritizing pilgrims’ health & safety
HE Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, emphasized the importance of Emirati pilgrims receiving the flu shot as part of their health preparations for the Hajj season. He highlighted that this measure would ensure the protection of their health and the safety of the community from infectious diseases that may spread in large gatherings such as Hajj.
Dr Al Rand added that the Ministry attaches a special attention to the most vulnerable groups, including those with chronic diseases, the elderly, and pregnant and nursing mothers. He noted that coordination is taking place at the highest levels between various state institutions to ensure a safe and healthy environment for pilgrims, enabling them to perform Hajj without any health issues.
Al Rand went on to say that the launch of the vaccination campaign for pilgrims against influenza is part of the national immunization policy, which aims to reduce the spread of infectious diseases and mitigate their complications.
He noted that this campaign will contribute to improving the health system's capacity to respond to respiratory diseases and strengthening health monitoring mechanisms, thereby enhancing the outcomes of the strategic vaccination coverage indicator according to international standards.
Vaccinations: Most effective preventive measures
For her part, Dr Nada Al Marzouqi, Director of the Department of Public Health and Prevention, stressed that adhering to preventive measures is crucial to avoiding health issues during the Hajj.
Al Marzouqi advised pilgrims to take precautions against heat exhaustion and physical stress, as these conditions can increase susceptibility to illnesses. Additionally, she emphasised the importance of following a healthy and balanced diet to help preserve health and ensure that worshipper can comfortably and safely perform their rituals.
She also emphasised that vaccinations are among the most effective and safest preventive measures available, adding that the ministry strongly encourages all pilgrims to receive both mandatory and optional vaccinations before traveling. These include vaccines for meningitis, seasonal influenza, and pneumococcal disease, all of which are readily available at health centres throughout the country.