Dubai: The Ministry of Health and Prevention on Tuesday announced that the second dose of varicella vaccine, to prevent chickenpox, will be administered to students this academic year (2017-2018).
The announcement was made during a workshop in Dubai that focused on the importance of immunisation programmes in schools and discussed the latest updates on diseases such as varicella, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough).
“The second dose of the chickenpox vaccine will be given to students aged five to six years through a collaboration with the local health authorities,” said Nada Al Marzouqi, director of the Preventive Medicine Department and executive manager of Happiness and Positivity.
For 16-year-old students, the government will switch from the booster dose of diphtheria and tetanus vaccine to include pertussis vaccine.
“The move to include the vaccine to the National Immunisation Programme for children reflects the ministry’s full commitment to protect the community from diseases and prevent them from spreading, particularly in schools,” said Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Rand, assistant undersecretary for Health Clinics and Centres.
He said the UAE has achieved its global immunisation targets approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Through the directives of the country’s leadership, the UAE is also achieving its objective of UAE Vision 2021 to build a world-class health system to position the country among the best nations.
Meanwhile, Dr Najla Sajwani, head of School Health Section, assured that school nurses and the coordinators have been regularly trained and updated with the vaccination programme. Updates regarding vaccinations are also sent to parents in the form of a package, which includes information on new vaccines and consent forms to raise their awareness and formally seek their approval.