All participants of the Hajj and Umrah must have a certificate stating that they have obtained the vaccine. In addition, a medical examination before leaving to perform the Hajj is also important.
In addition to excellent physical health, worshiping with thousands of people from all over the world makes prospective Hajj participants need vaccinations that can reduce the risk of exposure to harmful bacteria and viruses.
Meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord. This disease has a high risk of occurring in certain parts of the world, especially Saudi Arabia, as a place for Muslims to perform Hajj and Umrah.
To prevent this, the meningitis vaccine becomes a vaccination required by the Saudi Ministry of Health. A certificate stating that they have received the meningitis vaccine is a condition for prospective pilgrims to obtain a visa. The following are a number of conditions for administering vaccines:
- Meningitis is a disease caused by group A, C, W, and Y bacteria. Therefore, all worshipers are required to receive one dose of the quadrivalent polysaccharide vaccine or the ACWY135 vaccine.
- The vaccine is recommended to be done 2-3 weeks before departure, and not less than 10 days before. If you have received the same vaccine before, make sure that the administration time is no more than three years before.
- If given to adults and children older than five years, this vaccine will provide protection from meningitis for five years.
- For children under the age of five, vaccination will provide protection for 2-3 years. However, the administration of toddlers aged two months to three years must be followed by the second vaccine in the next three months.
- This type of vaccine is not permitted for infants less than two months old.
Severe side effects after the administration of the ACWY vaccine are very rare. About 10 percent of people who receive this vaccine experience pain and redness that will generally disappear within 1-2 days. Meanwhile, children sometimes have a fever.
In addition to the obligation to administer the meningitis vaccine, the Saudi Ministry of Health also advised prospective Hajj to get influenza and pneumonia vaccines before leaving.
Seasonal influenza vaccine
The types of viruses that cause influenza vary each year (seasonally), so vaccination is tailored to that type.
Influenza vaccine is recommended for Hajj pilgrims with certain conditions as follows:
– Patients with chronic diseases such as asthma, chronic heart failure, chronic lung disease, and HIV / AIDS.
– Patients with metabolic disorders.
– Obese sufferers.
– Toddler, elderly and pregnant women.
Diseases that are generally caused by bacterial infections Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcal can be prevented by administering a pneumonia vaccine. This vaccine is recommended for prospective pilgrims with certain conditions, such as the elderly aged 65 years and over, children, and adults with chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, kidney disorders, or heart disease.
There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines namely Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) and Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPV). The Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) recommends administering a PCV vaccine for children aged 2, 4 and 6 months, then a repeat or booster vaccine is given at 12-15 months of age.
Various vaccines above are required by the government of Saudi Arabia for people who will perform the Hajj. If you have a history of allergy to some or all of the vaccine (or its contents) that is required, consult your doctor before you vaccinate.
Health Check Before Completing Pilgrimage
In addition to getting vaccines, one of the main requirements to ensure safe pilgrimage is through good health checks. Regulation of the Minister of Health No. 15 of 2016 concerning the Health of Hajj Pilgrims, states that all pilgrims must obtain medical examinations and guidance in order to achieve the conditions of Hajj health istithaah. Hajj participants’ health checks are carried out in three stages:
- The first stage. Implemented by a team of health service providers at the Puskesmas. This examination is carried out when the Hajj participants want to register to get a portion number.
- Second stage. Implemented by the District or City Hajj Healthcare Team at the Health Center or Hospital when the government has determined the departure of the Hajj Pilgrims.
- Third phase. Conducted by the Embarkation of Hajj Organizers (PPIH) Committee on Health Sector. At this stage a medical check-up will be carried out to determine whether the Hajj Pilgrims are airworthy or not in accordance with international aviation regulations.
Before performing the Hajj, make sure your health and requirements for departure are met so that your Worship trip can go well.