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UAE mandates influenza vaccination for Umrah and Haj pilgrims

UAE mandates influenza vaccination for Umrah and Haj pilgrims

The UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention has mandated the influenza vaccination for all pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia for Umrah and Haj rituals, effective March 26. This requirement aims to protect the health and safety of pilgrims, Haj performers, their families and the broader community from infectious diseases.

Travellers are urged to visit health centres well in advance of departure, especially those with chronic illnesses. Vaccinations are readily available at both government health centres and private hospitals to prevent and control infectious diseases.

Key guidelines include ensuring vaccinations are administered at least ten days before travel, consulting a physician for individuals with chronic conditions and adhering to all necessary immunizations.

Individuals who have received the influenza vaccine within the past year are exempt from obtaining a new vaccination. Approved vaccination cards can be obtained through the Al Hosn application.

Dr Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rend, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Sector, emphasized the importance of influenza vaccination, particularly for high-risk individuals such as the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic diseases.

Criteria for high-risk individuals include age, pregnancy, living or working in crowded environments, weakened immune systems, chronic conditions and obesity.

The pneumococcal vaccine is also recommended for specific groups, including individuals aged 65 and over and those with chronic diseases or weakened immune systems.

The mandatory influenza vaccination requirement reflects the Ministry's dedication to safeguarding the health and safety of pilgrims undertaking Haj and Umrah rituals.

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