What shots do I need for a trip to the Middle East?
If you are traveling to the Middle East, you may need to get some shots before you go. The shots you need will depend on (a) what part of the Middle East, (b) how long you're staying, (c) what you will be doing while there, and (d) your immunization and medical history.
Middle East vaccine checklist
Typhoid in the Middle East
Typhoid is the most frequently recommended vaccine for travel to the Middle East. Typhoid fever is spread through contaminated food and water. Typhoid can be treated with antibiotics but drug-resistant strains are popping up in and near the Middle East.
The typhoid vaccine is safe and effective. You can choose from an oral vaccine or an injection.
You may need malaria pills too
There is currently no vaccine in the U.S. for malaria but there are drugs you can take to help prevent malaria. Talk to a travel health specialist about your options. Whether you need to take malaria pills really depends on where you go and what you're doing while there.
Map shows 2020 malaria death rates (Malaria Atlas Project)
The CDC is recommending a polio booster for adults
Polio is on the rise everywhere. The CDC is advising travelers to get a one-time booster shot of polio for travel to many countries. As of January 3rd, 2023, this affects Middle East countries of Israel/Palestine and Yemen.
Do you need a meningitis shot?
If you plan to travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj or for Umrah, you are required to get a meningitis shot as well. The vaccine has to have been administered within the last three years, and at least ten days before arrival.
Talk to a travel health nurse
Perhaps the most important thing when preparing for you travels is to consult with one of our highly trained and experienced travel health nurses in your area so that you can get (a) expert health advice and (b) the correct vaccinations and medications for your trip.