Skip to content

Health advisory for Haj and Umrah pilgrims (May 2024)

The Ministry of Health (MOH) advises Haj and Umrah pilgrims to take the following preventive measures when travelling to the Middle East region. 


  • Consult your healthcare provider four to six weeks for a travel health risk assessment, including advice on vaccinations required or prophylaxis recommended prior to travel.
  • Check on vaccination requirements and take all required vaccines for your destination country.
  • Be up to date with the recommended vaccinations and boosters in the National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS) or National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS).
  • Be aware of the health situation and entry requirements in countries you intend to travel to.


Haj and Umrah pilgrims are required to receive the meningococcal vaccination prior to travel. Pilgrims are also recommended to be up-to-date with vaccinations in the NAIS or NCIS. 


Vaccination details


Meningococcal vaccine

Visa requirement for pilgrims aged one year and older[1],[2]

As required by the Ministry of Health Saudi Arabia, vaccination must be completed at least 10 days prior to travel. The validity of the vaccination varies depending on the type of vaccine received:
–       Quadrivalent meningococcal (ACWY) conjugate vaccine: valid for 5 years.
–       Quadrivalent meningococcal (ACWY) polysaccharide vaccine: valid for 3 years (Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccines are no longer registered in Singapore).



COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination is free under the National Vaccination Programme for all Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, Long-Term Pass Holders and certain Short-Term Pass Holders in Singapore.

Individuals aged 6 months and above who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 are recommended to receive two initial vaccine doses at an interval of eight weeks apart. Thereafter, individuals are recommended to receive an additional dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine for 2024, around 1 year (and no earlier than 5 months) after the last dose received. The vaccination is especially important for all persons aged 60 years and above, medically vulnerable individuals (e.g. pregnant women, persons with comorbidities) and residents of aged care facilities as they are at a higher risk of severe disease.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccination, please visit


Influenza vaccine

Recommended in the NAIS and NCIS for children aged between 6 months and below 5 years, adults aged 65 years and older, and persons aged between 5 and 64 years with certain medical conditions or indications. All other pilgrims may also consider getting the influenza vaccination prior to travel.


Pneumococcal vaccine

Recommended in the NAIS and NCIS for children below 5 years of age, adults aged 65 years and older, and persons aged between 5 and 64 years with certain medical conditions.


Routine vaccines

Other nationally recommended vaccinations include measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), varicella and hepatitis B vaccinations (for children and adults), and diphtheria and polio vaccinations (for children).


Subsidies are available for eligible Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who meet the criteria for vaccination for nationally recommended vaccinations. Please consult your doctor for further advice regarding the above vaccinations or on other travel-related vaccinations prior to travel.

For more information on nationally recommended vaccinations and subsidies available, please visit the HealthHub at:


[1] Please visit Ministry of Health Saudi Arabia’s website for details on the prevailing requirements for Haj:

[2] Meningococcal conjugate vaccine can be administered in children as early as 6 weeks of age. Please approach your doctor for advice on the type of meningococcal conjugate vaccines that are suitable for children below one year of age.



  • Pilgrims with pre-existing major medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, chronic lung disease, chronic renal disease, immunodeficiency) should consult a doctor before travelling to assess whether making the pilgrimage is medically advisable.
  • Always observe and practise good personal hygiene.
  • Practise frequent hand washing with soap and water (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to toilet, or when hands are dirty from coughing or sneezing). If water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Eat food that have been fully cooked and wash fruits and vegetables properly before eating them. Avoid consuming raw and unpasteurised milk, undercooked meats and seafood, or food prepared under unsanitary conditions.
  • Avoid close contact with persons who are unwell, such as those suffering from respiratory infections.
  • Avoid contact with camels and other wild animals, including visits to camel farms and consumption or exposure to their products (e.g. raw meat, unpasteurised milk, urine). If contact has been made, wash hands with soap thoroughly.
  • Avoid visiting healthcare institutions in the Middle East unless it is necessary to do so as part of accessing medical care.
  • Pilgrims are advised to wear masks (i.e. surgical masks) especially when in crowded places.
  • Wear a surgical mask and seek medical attention promptly if you become unwell while travelling or within 2 weeks after returning to Singapore, and inform the doctor of your travel history.



Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral illness caused by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) MERS situational report [3] on 8 May 2024, a total of 2613 cases of MERS-CoV infection have been reported in 27 countries as at 21 April 2024, since the first MERS-CoV case in 2012. Majority of the cases were reported from Saudi Arabia, with four confirmed cases and two deaths reported from Saudi Arabia in 2024.

Symptoms of MERS-CoV infection include fever, cough and shortness of breath. MERS-CoV infection may result in severe illness and complications, such as pneumonia, and death occurs in about a third of infected individuals. The virus is present in infected dromedary camels and can spread to humans through contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products. It may also spread through close contact with infected persons and in healthcare settings.

 [3]Please refer to WHO website for more details on the healthcare-associated MERS cases in Saudi Arabia in April 2024: 

For more information on MERS, please refer to:    


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *