Immunisation drive to benefit 294,000 kids

 29 Sep 2016 - 1:53

Immunisation drive to benefit 294,000 kids
FROM LEFT: Dr Ameena Abdul Raheem, Pediatric Specialist at HMC and Member of Higher Committee for Vaccination; Khaleefa Al Dirham, Manager of School Affairs, Ministry of Education and Higher Education; Dr Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, Director of P

By Fazeena Saleem / The Peninsula


DOHA: The Ministry of Public Health yesterday urged parents to have children between age of one and 13  vaccinated  against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) during the national immunisation campaign in October.  
The immunisation drive to be held from October 17 to November 14 aims at vaccinating around 294,000 children at schools, health centres and private clinics, said officials.  The campaign will be held in collaboration with Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Primary Health Care Corporation, Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar Petroleum and Sidra Medical and Research Center.
“School going children will be vaccinated at independent, private and community schools and others at primary health centres or private clinics free of charge,” said Dr Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, Director of Public Health, at the ministry. 
The national campaign aims at immunising all children between the age of one and 13, except those have special  medical conditions. 
“This vaccination is compulsory. Schools will  send a  consent to be signed by parents. If parents refuse to give their consent, they will be convinced by explaining them importance of MMR vaccination,” said Dr Al Thani. 
After two doses of vaccination administered at age of nine months and 12, children are  95 percent  immune to measles. However a third dose is required to prevent any outbreak of measles.  “In Qatar we give two doses minimum.  It will protect the child  95 percent,  the third one — a boost vaccine is important, to cover the remaining  five percent,” he said.  
 He gave example of an outbreak of measles among 30 children in a class of a private school in the past. 
This year 22 cases of measles has been reported.   However the incidence rate and number of measles cases in Qatar have dropped rapidly during the last few years, from 160 confirmed cases in 2012 to 18 cases in 2015. Also 21 cases of Mumps and seven  cases of Rubella have been detected in 2015. 
Dr Hamad Al Rumaihi said that Qatar aims at eliminating  measles, mumps and rubella by 2020.  More than 400 staff including physicians, nurses pharmacists will be assigned by the PHCC during the campaign