Hajj Pilgrimage Vaccination Requirements Updated by CDC

Ministry of Health in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia published travel vaccination requirements to attend The Hajj during 2018

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have updated their Watch, Level 1 Travel Alert for those participating in the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The Hajj, which is from about August 19 to August 24, 2018, is one of the world’s largest mass gatherings each year.

This annual event includes thousands of visitors from all over the world, who may be unknowingly carrying an infectious disease.

Before attending this gathering, both the CDC and the Ministry of Health in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia published vaccine requirements and recommendations.

The Saudi Ministry of Health recommends that pregnant women, older adults, children, and those terminally ill postpone their plans for Hajj this year.

Yellow Fever

  • All travelers arriving from countries or areas at risk of yellow fever transmission must present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate.

Meningococcal meningitis

  • Visitors are required to submit a valid vaccination certificate with a tetravalent (ACYW135) meningococcal vaccine administered no less than 10 days prior to arrival to Saudi Arabia.


  • Travelers arriving from countries with circulating wild or vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2) and from countries at risk of polio reintroduction are required to submit a valid polio vaccination certificate.

Seasonal Influenza

  • The Ministry of Health in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia recommends that all pilgrims get vaccinated against the 2018/19 seasonal influenza.

For USA citizens, the CDC recommends scheduling a visit with a travel vaccine specialist at least 4 to 6 weeks before departure.

Travel vaccine counseling sessions can be scheduled at Vax-Before-Travel.

The goal of pre-trip counseling sessions is to ensure you are up to date on all routine and travel-related vaccines, and medicines that could affect you during your trip.

Many pharmacies in the USA offer travel vaccination services.

Moreover, the CDC says if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness within 14 days after traveling from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula, you should call a healthcare provider and mention your recent international travel.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information, and vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.