Reminder to Hajj pilgrims to ensure they are vaccinated against meningitis

10 Aug 2017
Reminder to Hajj pilgrims to ensure they are vaccinated against meningitis

Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) is reminding anyone travelling to the Hajj pilgrimage later this month to get their meningitis vaccination before embarking on their trip to Mecca.

This year Hajj takes place from 30 August - 4 September 2017. The vaccination MenACWY - which helps to prevent four types of life threatening meningococcal meningitis - 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.

There are now two MenACWY vaccine products available in the UK: Menveo® and Nimenrix®. Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated but plans to travel to Hajj should contact a travel clinic or their GP to book an appointment to receive either 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

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.

Vinny Smith, Chief Executive of MRF said, “Meningitis and septicaemia can kill in hours so it’s vital that pilgrims check that their MenACWY vaccination is up to date and book an appointment for the vaccine if not. There have been large-scale meningitis outbreaks associated with Hajj in the past, and some recent outbreaks linked to other mass gatherings. Although not highly infectious, 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.”

For more information call Meningitis Research Foundation’s free helpline on 080 8800 3344 or visit on this site.

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