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Hajj is the pilgrimage that every able-bodied Muslim must make at least once. It takes place in the last month of the Islamic calendar. The Umrah, also called the minor pilgrimage, is voluntary and can be done all year round. Especially during Hajj there are millions of people in Mecca at the same time.

Meningococcal vaccination mandatory

There is a risk of meningococcal infection in the large crowd. That is why the authorities of Saudi Arabia are making the meningococcal vaccination mandatory for all participants in Hajj and Umrah. The vaccination must be given at least 10 days before arrival in Saudi Arabia. Make an appointment in good time so that you are assured of a place in our vaccination clinic.

Other vaccinations

In addition to the meningococcal vaccination, other vaccinations are also recommended. For example, polio and hepatitis A can also be more easily transmitted in a crowd. It is also important to take precautions against hepatitis B. One of the rituals during Hajj is that men have their heads shaved. A razor that is used for several people poses a risk of transmission of hepatitis B. Therefore, only visit an official hairdresser or bring your own razors. Vaccination is also an option. For more information, read our comprehensive travel advice for Saudi Arabia.

During the pilgrimage

The pilgrimage requires a lot of effort and is performed in a warm climate. It is therefore important to also take a number of general measures.

Sun and heat

  • Take enough rest.
  • Do not walk barefoot to avoid burns.
  • Avoid direct sunlight, especially between 11am and 3pm.
  • Make sure you drink enough: 2 to 3 liters of fluid per day prevents dehydration.
  • Use a sunscreen with protection factor 50+, even if you are in the shade.

Hygiene

  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • In any case before and after every toilet visit and before eating.
  • Use hand gel if there is no water source available.
  • Only drink boiled or bottled water.
  • Do not eat (semi) raw meat or fish, crustaceans and shellfish.
  • Do not drink raw milk products.
  • Take ORS with you to prevent dehydration from traveler's diarrhea.
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