UAE Doctors Stress Importance of Child Vaccinations Before Umrah/Eid Travel

According to healthcare providers in the UAE, over 20% of parents fail to vaccinate their children regularly. What's more, many parents don't know that there is a "catch-up" schedule that might help them make up for vaccines that were missed.

The DOH has designated a number of vaccines—the BCG, hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, pneumococcal, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, polio, and rotavirus—as necessary for children.

Even if 1-2 parents may miss or postpone their child's vaccines every now and again, this is usually not acceptable, according to Dr. Hussein Nasser Matlik of Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi, who is also a consultant in pediatric neurology. Parents should take their children in for checkups at least once a year to talk about any vaccines that may have been missed and the significance of these optional but highly recommended immunizations.

Specialist in pediatrics at Aster Clinic, Muhaisnah, Dr. Sandeep Panikkasseri Dasan, found that 20% of parents often fail to remember to vaccinate their children. The need for catch-up programs for missing immunizations was emphasized, and he referred to global and regional statistics that showed the incidence of zero-dose vaccination during the epidemic.

In addition to routine immunizations, optional vaccines such as influenza, typhoid, hepatitis A, and meningococcal vaccines are recommended. Dr. Osama Elsayed Rezk Elassy, a clinical assistant professor and consultant at Thumbay University Hospital, emphasized the significance of vaccination before Umrah and Eid travel due to the heightened risk of exposure to contagious diseases.

Healthcare professionals underscored the importance of administering vaccines at least four to six weeks before travel to ensure sufficient time for the body to develop immunity. Reminder systems are encouraged to help parents stay on track with vaccination schedules, both domestically and when traveling abroad. Vaccination mandates for entry into certain countries or regions should also be considered when planning travel, with vaccines ideally administered well in advance to meet specific requirements and ensure maximum effectiveness.

Read also: Dubai Introduces 70-Day Paid Maternity Leave Policy for women

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