Vaccines offer protection both on the individual and community level, Ministry of Health and Prevention says. Seen here is a poster by the ministry released during World Immunisation Week 2023. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has joined the world in commemorating World Immunisation Week (April 24 to 30) being celebrated globally under the theme ‘The Big Catch Up’, by launching a vaccine awareness campaign in coordination with other health authorities.

The annual campaign will involve educational activities, scientific seminars, and awareness lectures aimed at highlighting the importance of vaccination, increasing demand for immunisation services, and emphasising the importance of completing vaccines and doses prescribed in the National Immunisation Programme.

World Immunisation Week is a global event that’s meant to emphasise the need for joint and integrated efforts to promote the use of vaccines and safeguard individuals of all ages from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Focus areas

The Ministry stated that the scientific and awareness activities during World Immunisation Week will focus on three key areas. Firstly, raising awareness among community members about the importance of vaccinations for individuals of all ages as per the national immunisation schedules.

Secondly, intensifying educational activities by disseminating awareness messages on the importance of receiving vaccines. Lastly, enhancing the capabilities of healthcare workers by educating them on the latest global vaccination recommendations. Additionally, the annual event aims to reduce the health, social, and economic burden caused by preventable diseases through upping vaccine coverage.

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World leader in vaccinations

Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, said the UAE is a world leader in vaccinations thanks to the National Immunisation Programme, which has become one of the most effective preventive programmes, and is now a model for others to follow.

Dr Al Rand reaffirmed the Ministry’s commitment to collaborating with health authorities in order to enhance awareness about the importance of vaccinations and their effectiveness in reducing infectious diseases targeted by vaccines.

Vaccination rate

“We look forward to increasing vaccine coverage and improving public health in the community, while enhancing preventive awareness and commitment to it. This will support the National Immunisation Programme and help us raise vaccine coverage rates to 99 per cent and above, according to the dates of the National Immunisation Programme,” Al Rand, said, adding that vaccines are safe and secure and follow international best practices.

Awareness campaigns

Dr Nada Al Marzouqi, Director of the Department of Public Health and Prevention, stated that World Immunisation Week 2023 has strategic pillars aimed at intensifying awareness campaigns across various media and social communication channels. The event also seeks to enhance coordination among health authorities and promote cooperation in conducting training workshops for health workers. These workshops will focus on discussing new developments and building confidence in the safety and efficacy of vaccines, as well as emphasising the significance of taking vaccines and completing the necessary doses to protect both individuals and the community.