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“Vaccination had greatly reduced the burden of infectious diseases, disability, death and inequity worldwide” (WHO)

The importance of vaccinations

Vaccinations have contributed greatly to global health over the years. Two major infections, rinderpest and smallpox have been eradicated with polio almost abolished. There has been great success in controlling measles making it a potential for eradication. With astonishing evidence to support the use of vaccinations, there has been a recent increase globally in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Why are they important?

With eradication of the above, many parents are unaware of the perils that these infectious diseases had to global health in previous generations, therefore may think that they are no longer necessary for
children.

While there are complex reasons why people may not have vaccinations, often there being a shortage or education around the use, the current rising issue seems to be “vaccination hesitation”. This has played a huge role in outbreaks over the world.

In the Philippines, a recent study identified that individuals that believed vaccines are effective dropped from close to 82% in 2015 to 22% in 2018. Since the beginning of 2019 there were 12,700 measles cases and at least 203 deaths.

In the US since the start of 2019, over 349 cases of measles have been reported (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). This has been reported the second highest number of cases annually since it
was declared as eliminated in the United States in 2000.

Here in the UAE we have the same concerns, mothers have considered opting out of the HPV vaccine for their daughters. Cases of cervical cancer are set to almost double in the next 15 years. The Journal of Infectious Diseases said that 9,930 people died from 19,500 HPV cases in 2015 in North Africa and the Middle East. This is estimated to rise if the education around vaccinations does not change.

This is of huge concern here in the UAE, as according to statistics more than 1.8 million women in the UAE are at risk of developing cervical cancer, 28 of which died last year. With 99.9% of cervical cancer being caused by the HPV virus, Doctors are urging women above the age of 15 to take preventative measures and get vaccinated.

In current times we often take to our computers or phones for advice, be it a post from a “blogger” or a Facebook post written by a mum, this can easily influence our opinion. When it comes to your child’s health we want to be certain about such topics.

5 key facts from the WHO (World Health Organisation) about vaccinations:

  1. It is always best to get a vaccination even if the risk of disease is low
  2. Immunisation through vaccination is the safest way to protect an individual against disease
  3. There is no link between vaccinations and autism
  4. Combined vaccinations are safe and beneficial
  5. If we stop vaccinations deadly diseases return

What vaccinations will your child need in accordance to the DHA?

Dubai Health Authority Vaccine Schedule.
Note: This is subject to change & you should check with the DHA for the most up to date copy.

Are they covered by your insurance in Dubai?

Health insurance varies by individual, check your table of benefits for vaccinations, many may not be included as preventative medicine is often excluded.

It is also optional to go through governmental clinics, if you have a residency visa, you can also visit your local government clinic. You will be entitled to free vaccinations for children up to the age of 5. If opting
for this, ensuring you have all your documents at hand;

  1. Child’s passport
  2. Child & Adult’s Emirates ID
  3. Child’s visa
  4. Emirate’s ID for child & parent
  5. Child’s vaccination booklet

Always ensure that you keep a log of your child’s vaccinations to ensure that you keep on top of any booster jabs or protective measures against infection.

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