Meningitis Research Foundation is reminding anyone travelling to the Hajj pilgrimage to get their meningitis vaccination before embarking on their trip to Saudi Arabia.
This year Hajj takes place from 9 August - 14 August. The vaccination MenACWY - which helps to prevent four types of meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia - is a requirement for all pilgrims in order to gain entry to Saudi Arabia. They must have a certificate showing that they have been vaccinated at least 10 days before departure.
Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated but plans to travel to Hajj should contact their GP or book an appointment at a private travel clinic to receive the MenACWY vaccine.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has an online tool to help pilgrims travelling to Hajj to locate nearby pharmacy vaccination clinics offering MenACWY in England, Scotland and Wales. Visit http://mcb.etraveltool.com/finder.
The mandatory requirement to have the MenACWY vaccination was introduced following epidemics of meningococcal disease during Hajj, which extended worldwide after pilgrims returned to their own countries.
Meningitis and septicaemia are more likely to spread when there are many people in close proximity – such as at mass gatherings like Hajj. Getting the vaccination is the only way for people to protect themselves, their families and to help prevent an outbreak of the disease.