Hajj pilgrims urged to take vaccinations

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The Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) have reminded Hajj pilgrims to ensure that they and their families are safeguarded against infectious diseases they might come into contact with.

The ministry said three vaccines are recommended — meningococcal meningitis; seasonal flu; and pneumococcal — which pilgrims should take at least 10 days before leaving for Saudi Arabia.

“It is mandatory for all adults and children above two years to get meningococcal vaccine. It may be used with caution in pregnancy, although it is not mandatory for expectant mothers going for Hajj,” said Dr Hamad Eid Al Romaihi, Manager, Health Protection and Communicable Disease Control at the ministry.

He said all pilgrims should also take vaccination against seasonal flu. Individuals at an increased risk of severe influenza diseases, particularly pregnant women, children under five years, the elderly and individuals with underlying health conditions such as human immunodeficiency virus, asthma, chronic heart or lung diseases, are urged to take the seasonal flu vaccine.

Pneumococcal vaccination is recommended for high-risk people aged between two and 64 years with chronic medical conditions like sickle cell anaemia, splenectomy and renal failure; healthy adults aged 18 to 64 years with unknown or incomplete pneumococcal vaccine series in childhood; and healthy adults aged 50 to 64 with no pneumococcal vaccine after 18 years.

Dr. Samya Al Abdulla, Executive Director of Operations, PHCC, said the vaccines are available at all health centres, including the main vaccination unit in Messaimer Health Centre in Abu Hamour.

“Getting vaccinated will also guarantee that they do not bring back any of these communicable diseases, the spread of which could threaten and burden the healthcare infrastructure here,” Dr. Samya added. (Source / Image)