Travel as a Risk Factor

CDC recommends meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccination for people traveling to or living in the meningitis belt in sub-Saharan Africa. CDC will issue advisories for travelers to other countries as needed. CDC does not routinely recommend serogroup B meningococcal vaccination before international travel.

The meningitis belt has much higher rates of meningococcal disease than the United States and outbreaks are common. The disease is most common in these countries during the dry season (December through June). Travelers who spend a lot of time with local populations, especially during outbreaks, have the highest risk of getting sick. Vaccinated travelers who continue to be at increased risk should receive booster shots.

Ask your doctor which meningococcal vaccines you or your child should get.

Saudi Arabia requires participants in the annual Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage show proof of MenACWY vaccination. No other countries require meningococcal vaccination prior to travel.

For more information on meningococcal vaccine recommendations for travelers, visit the meningococcal section of the CDC Travelers’ Health web site.

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Page last reviewed: February 7, 2022