MMR vaccine campaign by ADPHC
Children of UAE nationals and residents aged 1 to 5 years are eligible, regardless of their previous vaccination history or exposure to measles. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) is offering a free additional dose of the MMR vaccine to children aged one to five years old. This campaign aims to boost immunity and protect children from measles, mumps, and rubella.

While measles can affect individuals in all age groups, children under five years old are most susceptible. The three-week campaign starting May 28, will provide an additional dose of the MMR vaccine to children in this age group.

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The vaccine is available at 58 facilities and health centres in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Al Dhafra.

Campaign dates

May 28 till June 17, 2024

What is the need for an additional vaccine dose?

The national vaccination programme currently includes two doses of the measles vaccine, with the first dose given at 12 months and the second at 18 months of age. The additional dose provided as part of the campaign will be an added boost of protection in efforts to safeguard the community.

What is measles and why is vaccination important?

Measles is a viral disease that causes fever and a rash. It is highly contagious and a potentially serious disease. Vaccination is the safest and most effective way to prevent it.

Who is eligible?

Children of UAE nationals and residents aged 1 to 5 years are eligible, regardless of their previous vaccination history or exposure to measles.

How does measles spread?

The measles virus spreads through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. The virus can survive for two hours in the air or on surfaces. Infected individuals are normally contagious from four days prior to four days after the rash appears. ADPHC also provided answers to some common questions that parents may have regarding measles and the preventative vaccine.

Is measles a serious disease?

Measles can be very serious, especially among children under the age of five, adults older than 20 years, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system. Measles can lead to lung infection, brain damage, deafness, and sometimes death.

How can I prevent ceasles?

Vaccination is the best, safest, and most effective tool to prevent measles.

Is MMR vaccine safe?

Yes, the MMR vaccine is extremely safe and meets the highest quality criteria established by the World Health Organisation. Vaccine side effects are extremely rare. Before any vaccine is licensed, it undergoes intensive testing over several years. Once a vaccine is in use, the country’s health officials are committed to assuring its safety through stringent monitoring systems.

What are the side effects of MMR vaccine?

The vaccine is like any other treatment and might cause some side effects, such as redness or soreness in the injected area, low grade fever, and pains. These side effects usually last few days and are curable. Severe negative effects are exceptionally rare.

Who should avoid taking a MMR vaccine?

• Who previously developed a severe reaction to MMR vaccine.
• Those who are allergic to the antibiotic ‘neomycin’.
• Individuals with immune-lowering illness like leukaemia, cancer, or who are undergoing treatment that lowers immunity, like radiotherapy, chemotherapy and steroids.
• Moderately to critically ill patients admitted in the hospital.

Is the vaccine safe for sick people?

In general, people with minor illness such as cold can receive the MMR vaccine, however, people who are moderately or critically ill should not receive the vaccine until they are fully recovered.

Is there a relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism?

Many studies have been conducted on the relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism, and research has proven that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism.

If a child obtains the vaccine during the campaign, does it mean, they don’t have to be vaccinated again as per the routine vaccination schedule?

It is critical that children continue to receive the full sequence of normal vaccine doses in addition to the campaign doses. The vaccination is safe, and each extra dose boost immunity.

If a child has received all the scheduled doses in the vaccination programme, do they also need to take the additional campaign dose?

Yes, the child needs to take the additional dose scheduled in the campaign regardless of the number of doses previously taken.

During immunisation campaigns, the history of measles infection and the number of previous doses are not considered when determining whether a person needs the vaccine. This is to achieve herd immunity more quickly by reaching the largest number of individuals within a short period to reduce the spread of the disease. If the child has taken the vaccine and has pre-existing immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella, their immune system will eliminate the weakened viruses that make up the vaccine.

Why not use the measles vaccination instead of MMR vaccine in the campaign?

Both the measles and MMR vaccines are safe and effective. However, MMR vaccine outperformed measles vaccine by providing additional protection against mumps and rubella.

Where can I get the vaccine?

The free vaccine is available at 58 facilities and health centres throughout Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Al Dhafra

You will need to call the hospitals directly to book an appointment for the free vaccine.

Abu Dhabi

Al Shamkha Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Bateen Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Mushrif Children’s Specialty Centre - 80050
Al Maqtaa Healthcare Centre - 80050
Madinat Mohamed bin Zayed Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Samha Healthcare Centre - 80050
Madinat Khalifa Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Falah Healthcare Centre - 80050
Baniyas Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Bahia Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Zafaranah Diagnostic & Screening Centre - 80050
Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women and Children - 80096626
Burjeel Hospital - 80055
Burjeel Medical City - 80055
Burjeel Day Surgery Centre - Al Reem Island - 80055
Burjeel Medical Centre- Al Zeina - 80055
LLH Hospital - Abu Dhabi - 80055
LLH Hospital – Musaffah - 80055
Medeor 24x7 Hospital - 80055
Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital - 8002000
Mediclinic Al Noor Hospital - 8002000
NMC Royal Hospital, Khalifa City - 8001122
NMC Royal Hospital - Mohammed Bin Zayed City - 02-5545555
NMC Specialty Hospital - 02-6332255
NMC Royal Women's Hospital - 02-5082000
NMC Royal Medical Centre, Karama - 02- 6144900
NMC Royal Medical Centre, Shahama - 02- 88 9400
NMC Royal Family Medical Centre - 02-6911500

Al Ain

Al Hili Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Jahili Healthcare Centre - 80050
Mezyad Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Muwaiji Healthcare Centre - 80050
Neima Healthcare Centre - 80050
Zakher Healthcare Centre - 80050
Oud Al Touba Diagnostic & Screening Centre - 80050
Al Towayya Children's Specialty Centre - 80050
Al Maqam Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Aamerah Healthcare Centre (Al Yahar) - 80050
Remah Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Hayar Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Faqaa Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Shuwaib Healthcare Centre - 8005
Al Khatim Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Khazna Healthcare Centre - 80050
Sweihan Healthcare Centre - 80050
Al Quaa Healthcare Centre - 80050
Kanad Hospital - 03-7131111
Burjeel Royal Asharej - 80055
Mediclinic Al Jowhara Hospital - 8002000
Mediclinic Al Ain Hospital - 8002000
NMC Speciality Hospital, Al Ain - 03-7030300

Al Dhafra

Al Dhafra Family Medicine Centre - 80050
Ghayathi Hospital - 80050
Al Sila Hospital - 80050
Delma Hospital - 80050
Liwa Hospital - 80050
Al Marfa Hospital - 80050
Al Dhannah Hospital - 8007267