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Middle East - travel vaccination advice

Vaccination against various diseases is recommended when travelling to most of the countries in the Middle East. The vaccines depend on the destination, type of accommodation, sanitary conditions, length of stay and general health of the traveller.

Malaria precautions are essential in a few countries in the Middle East. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net. In addition, antimalarial tablets are recommended when traveling to a few countries in the Middle East.  

People who are unsure if they have had the MMR vaccine or whether they have had measles, mumps or rubella are recommended to have the vaccine.

The health authorities in Saudi Arabia require that all pilgrims travelling to the country should have the meningococcal ACWY vaccine. 

International travel is divided into two main groups

GROUP I   

Business and tourist travel to cities and tourist resorts, staying in standard tourist-class hotels with good food hygiene and adequate sanitary conditions. 

GROUP II

Long-term foreign travel or residence in areas with poor hygiene and sanitation, and / or close and prolonged contact with locals (such as work, backpacking trips, immigrants on a visit to their former homeland). 

( ): Parentheses around the abbreviation means that the proposed prevention should be considered individually depending on the trip type and local geographic and seasonal variations in disease prevalence. In addition, the traveller's health, age and previous immunisation status should be considered.

Recommended vaccines

DESTINATION GROUP I     GROUP II
Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman,  
Palestine, Qatar, Syria, United Arab Emirates
dTP-IV*
Hep A
dTP-IV*
Hep A
(Hep B)
(Typh)
(Rab)
Iraq, Yemen

dTP-IV*
Hep A

dTP-IV*
Hep A 
(Hep B) 
(Typh) 
(Rab) 
(BCG)

 Israel

dTP-IV*


dTP-IV*
(Hep A)
(Typh)
(Rab)

Saudi-Arabia

dTP-IV* 
Hep A
MenACWY***
Influenza***

dTP-IV*
Hep A
MenACWY***
Influenza***
(Hep B)
(Typh)
(Rab)

*) Everybody should be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and poliomyelitis. Adults who have had the basic vaccinations should have a booster dose against these diseases every 10 years.

Please note that Syria has an ongoing outbreak of vaccine-derived polio virus and it is strongly recommended (but not mandatory) to have had the polio vaccine between 4 weeks and 12 months before leaving the country.

*** Visas for entry to Saudi Arabia require documentation of vaccination of people over 2 years of age. The vaccine must be given minimum 10 days and maximum 3 years for the polysaccharide vaccine, and maximum 8 years for the conjugate vaccine before arrival in Saudi Arabia. It is important that the vaccination certificate states that the vaccine given in Norway is a congugate vaccine that protects against serogroups A, C, W and Y, plus the name of the vaccine.

The influenza vaccine is recommended for pilgrimages.

Abbreviations for travel vaccines  

  • dTP-IPV: Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and poliomyelitis vaccine
  • Hep A: Hepatitis A vaccine
  • Hep B: Hepatitis B vaccine
  • MenACWY: Meningococcal vaccine
  • Rab: Rabies vaccine
  • Typh: Typhoid vaccine
  • BCG: Tuberculosis vaccine
  • Influenza : Seasonal influneza vaccine

 

Source for travel vaccination advice given by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health 

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