UAE | Health

Abu Dhabi health authority to recommend more vaccinations for children

HAAD officials are also considering the inclusion of a vaccine to prevent meningococcal diseases, which cause fever and affect the central nervous system and blood

  • By Samihah Zaman, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 18:19 July 30, 2012
  • Gulf News

Vaccination
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • In the 2012-2013 academic year, a vaccine for chickenpox will be made available free of charge for schoolchildren in Grade 1.

Abu Dhabi: A range of vaccinations to protect children against communicable diseases are set to be recommended this year in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, senior health officials said on Monday.

These include vaccinations to protect children from diseases such as chicken pox and pertussis, as well as the rotavirus.

“These communicable diseases add to the healthcare burden in the emirate, and can be prevented with the simple administration of timely vaccines,” said Dr Baddreya Al Shehhi, senior officer for vaccines at the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD).

In the 2012-2013 academic year, a vaccine for chickenpox will be made available free of charge for schoolchildren in Grade 1, Dr Baddreya told Gulf News.

This vaccine will aim to immunise those who did not receive the shots as infants when the vaccine was introduced in 2010.

Shots to protect from pertussis, which causes a highly contagious whooping cough, shortness of breath and even respiratory failure in severe cases, will also be made available for children in Grades 1 and 11.

Meanwhile, a new vaccine against the rotavirus, which leads to stomach and intestine inflammations as well as severe diarrhoea and dehydration, will be introduced for the first time in 2013 for children below the age of eight months.

“Nearly 30 per cent of stomach and intestine inflammations that occurs at present among children below the age of five years in the emirate can be prevented with the administration of this vaccine,” Dr Baddreya explained.

HAAD officials are also considering the inclusion of a vaccine to prevent meningococcal diseases, which cause fever and affect the central nervous system and blood. Dr Baddreya said this vaccine may also be administered from 2013 onwards for pupils in Grade 11.

She was speaking at a conference held to launch the HAAD Adult Vaccination Campaign, which seeks to create awareness among residents about recommended adult vaccinations.

A set of criteria outlining which groups of adults are eligible to receive free vaccines have also been sent out to healthcare facilities in the emirate.

Gulf News
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