Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | 16:32 WIB

Meningitis vaccination recommended for Umrah
pilgrims with comorbidities

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haj
Scene of haj pilgrimage departures. (IO/Dumaz Artadi)

Meningitis meningococcus is a highly infectious disease that attacks the cerebral membrane. It spreads from one human to another through the secretions of the respiratory system, i.e., droplets and saliva. It has an incubation period of 3-4 days, and a duration of 2-10 days. The disease is endemic to Saudi Arabia and several neighboring regions in Africa. Vaccination will protect you against the disease, and you don’t need to do it again for four years. 

Previously, meningitis vaccination was mandatory for persons entering Saudi Arabia using hajj and umrah visas. As stated above, it was meant as a protective measure by preventing the onset of the disease. However, according to the Diplomatic Note of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia dated 7 November 2022 and Letter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Number 211-1246, the Government of Saudi Arabia loosened up the regulation by no longer mandating the vaccination for umrah pilgrims. 

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“Basically, we follow the rules that higher ups have stipulated, with the hope that the pilgrims can perform their religious rituals peacefully and smoothly, and return healthy to their Homelands,” dr. Syahril said. (est)

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