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23 April 2024

UAE MOHAP: Influenza vaccination is mandatory before traveling for Umrah and Hajj for the prevention and preservation of travelers' health.

By E247
  • Necessary vaccinations must be taken before traveling, especially for the elderly, to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccine and provide sufficient immunity for prevention.
  • Those who have received the influenza vaccination within less than a year are not required to obtain a new vaccination.
  • The approved vaccination card can be obtained through health centers and is also available on the Al Hosn application.
  • Vaccinations are available at all government and private health centers.
  • The list of required vaccinations and requirements for performing Hajj are available through the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments website.

The Ministry of Health and Community Protection affirmed the mandatory nature of taking all required basic doses of vaccinations, especially the influenza vaccine, and following all guidelines and precautions before traveling to perform Umrah and Hajj, as part of its commitment to preserving the health and safety of pilgrims, Hajj performers, their families, and all segments of society, from infectious diseases.

The ministry indicated that travelers to Umrah will be required to present their influenza vaccination cards starting from March 26, 2024. It recommended the importance of visiting a health center before leaving the country with sufficient time, especially in the case of chronic diseases, noting the availability of vaccinations at all government and private health centers. This is within the framework of the ministry's strategy aiming to protect the community from all risks, infectious and prevalent diseases, and controlling them.

The guidelines include taking vaccinations before traveling with a sufficient period of not less than ten days before the travel date to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccine and provide sufficient immunity for prevention. For those suffering from chronic diseases, consulting a doctor to ensure the stability of their health condition and their ability to perform Hajj and Umrah is necessary, in addition to taking an adequate amount of medication, ensuring to take all necessary and recommended immunizations, and engaging in regular physical exercises. The ministry also pointed out that those who have previously received the influenza vaccination and completed less than a year from the dose do not need to obtain a new vaccination. The approved vaccination card can be obtained through the Al Hosn application before traveling and presented at the country's ports upon departure.

The health and safety of pilgrims are a priority.

Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rend, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Sector, emphasized that including the influenza vaccination along with other vaccinations for Hajj and Umrah travelers comes within the Ministry's special attention to ensure their health and safety, especially for those with chronic diseases, the elderly, pregnant women, and lactating mothers. He affirmed the high-level coordination between the efforts of state institutions concerned with organizing and caring for the affairs of pilgrims' convoys, ensuring their health and safety during performing Hajj and Umrah without exposing them to any health problems, aiming to protect them and society from all potential health risks, especially infectious and chronic diseases.

Al Rend mentioned that launching a campaign to vaccinate pilgrims against influenza is in line with the national policy of vaccinations, which represents a national framework for combating infectious diseases, including seasonal influenza, to reduce its complications on individuals and society. This contributes to developing the healthcare system's response to respiratory diseases and enhancing surveillance mechanisms, thereby improving the results of the strategic indicator for vaccination coverage according to international standards, by providing them in the healthcare facilities network, realizing the ministry's understanding of the importance of health security and preventing and containing risks as a national health priority in the UAE.

The list of vaccinations, vaccines, and general requirements for performing Hajj for this year can also be referred to through the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments website.

Vaccinations are the most successful preventive measures.

Dr. Nada Al Marzouqi, Director of the Public Health and Prevention Department, explained that vaccinations are considered one of the most successful and effective preventive measures. Therefore, the ministry urges all travelers and pilgrims to take the necessary basic and optional vaccinations before traveling for Hajj and Umrah, emphasizing that the ministry provides vaccines in health centers extensively.

Dr. Al Marzouqi also urged pilgrims to follow preventive measures to avoid health problems during performing Hajj and Umrah, such as avoiding heat exhaustion and physical stress during movement, which increases the chances of contracting some diseases and health problems, and ensuring a healthy nutrition system.