Thursday, March 17, 2011

Health ministry launches new vaccine for children

17 March 2011, The Gulf Today

The national immunisation programme under the Ministry of Health (MoH) has introduced a new and safer vaccine that protects children from a range of serious illnesses. 
The new immunisation injection, called Pneumoccoccal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV-13), can be administered on all children over the age of two months. The central preventive medicine department at the MoH presented the vaccine on Tuesday.
Dr Mahmoud Fikri, assistant undersecretary for health policies at the MoH, said the vaccine will provide children with the broadest coverage from 13 most widespread Pneumoccoccal serotypes that cause meningitis, pneumonia, blood infections and upper respiratory diseases, Bacteremia, Otitis Media, and other diseases. 
“Four doses of the vaccine are recommended to administer on children in the period of two, four and six months, and a booster dose at 18 months,” he added. 
Dr Salem Al Darmaki, acting undersecretary at the MoH, said in his speech at the seminar that streptococcus pneumonia prevention and treatment of infectious disease are of high priority in the UAE.
“Infectious diseases are on the rise and we have seen that they can travel through communities quickly and extract a heavy financial and human toll. So, the authorities are taking very specific steps to reduce incidence and prevalence rates through systematic prevention measures,” he added. 
According to him, streptococcus pneumonia can cause a situation as life threatening as advanced pneumonia.