DUBAI Pilgrims undertaking the Haj must adequately prepare themselves by complying with the immunisation requirements mandated by the authorities, officials of the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) announced on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference, Dr Nada Al Marzouwi, director of MOHAP’s Preventive Medicine Department, read out the message of the ministry, highlighting the need for pilgrims to visit the primary health centres ahead of travel to get a thorough assessment of their medical condition and immunisation requirements. “There are special tips for pilgrims with chronic diseases such as those with diabetes, heart and respiratory problems.”

Giving the immunisation details, DR Laila Al Jasmi, head of vaccination department, Ministry of Health and Prevention, said,

“All pilgrims have to take the Meningococcal vaccine and obtain a valid international certificate of vaccination. It is recommended to take the vaccine 15 days prior to travel.”

While the meningococcal vaccine

Is mandatory for all pilgrims, vaccines like yellow fever and polio are also mandated for pilgrims from some specific countries. Other vaccines like seasonal influenza and pneumococcal vaccines are not mandatory, but highly recommended. The vaccines are available in all primary healthcare centres and other clinics under the ministry, she said.

Ministry officials also outlined the preventive requirements drawn up for pilgrims before, during and after the Haj.