Hajj and Umrah Vaccinations March 2023

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March 27, 2023
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Hajj and Umrah 2023 pilgrims are required to be vaccinated to obtain visa from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Hajj Umrah Vaccinations March 2023

The Saudi Ministry of Health established vaccine requirements for pilgrims to obtain an Entry Visa for Hajj 2023 and Umrah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Health regulations and vaccination requirements include the following vaccines:

COVID-19: As of January 2023, the Ministry of Health approved the updated COVID-19 bivalent vaccination. Saudi Arabia recognizes the World Health Organization's Listed COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine information is available at the Unified Portal for External Hajj 2022 link. As of 2023, Saudi Arabia indicates the Covaxin, Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty), Moderna (SpikeVax), AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Covishield, SK Bioscience (Covovax), Jansen (Jcovden), Nuvaxovid (Novavax), Sinopharm, Sinovac (CoronaVac), and the Sputnik V vaccines meet travel requirements.

Yellow Fever: Following the International Health Regulations 2005, all travelers arriving from countries or areas at risk of yellow fever must present a valid yellow fever International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) showing that the person was vaccinated at least ten days and ten years before arrival border with either FY-Vax or Stamaril vaccine. In case of the absence of such a certificate, the individual will be placed under strict surveillance. These countries/areas are at risk of yellow fever transmission.

Meningitis: Visitors arriving for Umrah, Hajj, or seasonal work must submit a vaccination certificate with the quadrivalent (ACYW135) vaccine against meningitis issued no more than three years and no less than ten days before arrival in Saudi Arabia. The BMC journal published a study in March 2022: Disease transmission and mass gatherings: a case study on meningococcal infection during Hajj. On November 14, 2022, the media reported Meningitis vaccine is still recommended for Umrah pilgrims with comorbidities despite it being no longer mandatory for Umrah pilgrims. This decision is based on Circular Letter Number HK.02.02/C.I/9325/2022.

Polio:  All visitors from polio-endemic countries and re-established transmission countries should receive one oral polio vaccine (OPV) dose, regardless of age and vaccination status. Proof of polio vaccination at least six weeks before departure is required for visitors from polio-endemic and re-established transmission countries to apply for an entry visa for Saudi Arabia, and travelers will also receive one dose of OPV at border points on arrival in Saudi Arabia.  In addition, irrespective of previous immunization history, all visitors under 15 years arriving in Saudi Arabia will receive one dose of OPV at border points.

Influenza:  The Saudi Ministry of Health recommends that international pilgrims be vaccinated against seasonal influenza before arrival in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, particularly those at increased risk of severe influenza diseases, including pregnant women, children under five years, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health conditions such as HIV/AIDS, asthma, and chronic heart or lung diseases. In Saudi Arabia, seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended for internal pilgrims, particularly those at risk described above, and all healthcare workers on the Hajj premises.

General Precautions: Updating immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases in all pilgrims is recommended. These usually include diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, and mumps) and those needed for a specific travel. Pilgrims planning further travel before or after Hajj or Umrah to malaria-risk areas in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, should seek advice about malaria prevention. And there are no Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or the mpox requirements.

Hajj Vaccinations 2023

Hajj 2023 is scheduled for June 27, 2023, through July 1, 2023. Furthermore, under the patronage of H.R.H Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Governor of Makkah Region, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is organizing the 'Hajj Expo 2023' conference and exhibition on January 9-12, 2023, which will highlight the latest projects and initiatives launched by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to improve and sustain the services provided to the pilgrims, enhancing competitiveness, enriching the experience by overcoming challenges and foreseeing future directions in the system of Hajj and Umrah services, guided by the Kingdom's vision 2030.

During the opening of Hajj Expo 2023 (Jan. 9, 2023), H.E. Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq AlRabiah announced on Twitter, "Number of Hajj pilgrims in 1444H will return to how it was before the Coronavirus pandemic without age restrictions."

Highlights of H.E. Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq AlRabiah during the opening of #Hajj_Expo 2023 were posted on Twitter on January 10, 2023.

On August 19, 2022, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia announced: "Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has decided to cancel the Lottery allocation system and allow direct registration for domestic pilgrims for Hajj 1444." As part of the lottery or draw system, pilgrims are asked to apply online (Eatmarna App) to perform Hajj. Then, the final list of Haj pilgrims is selected using an electronic draw system.

Umrah Vaccinations 2023

In alignment with the Saudi Vision 2030 and in pursuit of achieving it through the Doyof Al Rahman National Program (70 government and private agencies), the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced on January 22, 2023, a special Comprehensive Insurance Coverage for pilgrims coming from outside the KSA. 

On August 15, 2022, the SPA reported the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, in coincidence with the start of the Umrah season for the current year 1444 Hijri, made it possible for holders of all types of visas and those coming from all countries of the world for tourism and visits to perform Umrah during their stay in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

On December 1, 2022, the Personal Visit visa enabled visitors to come #To_Makkah and perform Umrah efficiently by applying online. In addition, electronic biometrics (fingerprints) registration started in five countries.

And on July 31, 2022, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Tweeted: 'For a unique visit and an enjoyable spiritual journey, kindly read the Umrah Information Guide.' The List of Regulations of the Services Provided for the Mu'tamirs (Umrah performers) was issued in 1420H by virtue of the Council of Ministers Resolution No. 93, dated 10/6/1420H.

Hajj and Umrah Travel Apps

Nusuk Hajj is the official platform for booking and managing your spiritual Hajj journey in 2023 from Europe countries, South / North America, and Australia.

The Central Reserve Engine (Maqam) is an electronic marketing platform wishing to provide its services to pilgrims that can integrate with providers of housing, transportation, and ground services, in addition to other services within the Kingdom to facilitate the pilgrim's journey and choosing the package of services available on one of the approved electronic platforms through the link: https://maqam.gds.haj.gov.sa/ and design the Umrah package according to the needs of the applicant via the website: https://www.visitsaudi.com/ar.

The @MoHU_En Tweeted on July 26, 2022, Umrah permits are available via the Eatmarna app, enabling pilgrims to plan their trips and contributing to accelerating the procedures for issuing Hajj and Umrah visas. 

Hajj and Umrah Visa

The Kingdom welcomes all Muslims from all countries of the world. Each applicant for a Hajj visa must apply through a licensed travel agency, which must present the Consulate with copies of "Accommodation Contacts" and a letter from the Ministry of Hajj in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the applicant must have a passport with a validity of at least six months and be acceptable for entry to Saudi Arabia and the next destination.

Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that is permissible on all days of the year, even during the months of Hajj.

Travel to Saudia Arabia 2023

The U.S. Department of State stated that those who wish to travel to Saudi Arabia to visit Medina, Hajj, or perform Umrah should review the U.S. CDC's recommendations. If you travel to Saudi Arabia, ensure you are fully vaccinated before travel, says the CDC. 

Travel to the United States in 2023

As of March 2023, the U.S. CDC's Order requiring proof of vaccination for non-U.S. citizen nonimmigrants to travel to the United States is still in effect.

Hajj Vaccination News 2023

March 26, 2023 - Gulf News reported the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah issued new guidelines for pilgrims indicating they should perform it once during the holy month of Ramadan.

February 21, 2023 - Local news reported Bangladeshi religious affairs ministry website says Saudi Arabia has mandated vaccines against meningitis, influenza, and COVID-19 for pilgrims performing Hajj in 2023. And people with comorbidities will not be allowed to perform the annual pilgrimage.