When you are blessed with joy of parenthood , after you have delivered your baby and when those few hours of initial stablisation of you and the baby have passed and when you are finally able to hold your little bundle of joy in your arms with utmost care and affection, the Pediatrician walks in to inform you of your baby’s health and of the fact that the child has been vaccinated for BCG. The Pediatrician then explains that the baby will progress on to have a raised lesion which will erupt and heal by scar formation , there is nothing to worry about and that this vaccination does not cause any fever.
Have you wondered that this is the first gift you have given to your child. Yes , Childhood Immunisation also known as Childhood Vaccination is the gift you give your child , whose records not only help them get into schools, colleges and Universities but they also help in rendering a life threatening communicable disease free world. Every parent is entrusted upon this duty of maintaining the childhood vaccination record so firstly lets look at the national immunization schedule and expand the abbreviations so as to have a general information of the diseases our children are being vaccinated for.
- At Birth : BCG (Vaccine to prevent Tuberculosis) and HBV (Vaccine to prevent Hepatitis B)
- At 2 months of age : Dtap – I dose (Vaccine to prevent Diphtheria,Pertussis and Tetanus) , HBV – II dose, HiB(Vaccine to prevent Influenza), IPV- I dose (Vaccine to prevent Polio) and PCV – I dose(Vaccine to prevent a group or individual illnesses caused by the Streptococcus Pneumoniae)
- At 4 months of age : Dtap – II dose , HBV – III dose, Hib – II dose, OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine) , PCV – II dose
- At 6 months of age : Dtap – III dose , HBV – IV dose , HiB – III dose , OPV – III dose and PCV – III dose.
- At 12 months of age : MMR (Measles , Mumps and Rubella) – I dose and Varicella ( Vaccine to prevent Chicken pox and aggressive forms of Adult Chickenpox in the later stages of adulthood).
- At 18 months of age : Dtap – IV dose , HiB – IV dose , OPV – IV dose and PCV – IV dose.
- At 5-6 years of age : DPT (Booster Dose), OPV – IV dose , MMR– II dose and Varicella – II dose.
The National Immunisation Schedule is updated upon regularly by the Ministry of Health , UAE and if any new additions are made upon are definitely informed to you by your Pediatrician. There is a National Immunization Schedule for Children and Adolescents from the age group of Seven to Eighteen years , Please do inquire about them to your Pediatrician and if you can with the allowance on your insurance or budget please do get your children in these age groups vaccinated for them. It definitely provides them immunity and if you are considering to send your children abroad to pursue an education , this definitely does make a difference.
Always make it a point to keep yourself well informed about certain endemic diseases when you are traveling to a particular country. For example, if you are traveling to an area or a country with Malaria , Yellow fever, Hepatitis A or Typhoid as an endemic then make sure you make a prior appointment with your pediatrician or GP as applicable and get the appropriate immunization schedule for the kids. Try and complete the course before your travel dates.
Sometimes we may have to make certain trips to countries for immigration or a holiday that involves more than a month. In this period you fear you might miss a date of your child’s vaccination then you can always carry your vaccination record which is either in the form of a book or card , some places maintain an online record in which case you must request your GP/Pediatrician to provide you a soft or hard copy. This is important since every country that you might consider traveling always ask for an Immunization status.
Due to certain reasons , if one was unable to get the child his/her vaccinations at birth , they can always register at their local GP/Pediatrician and inquire about Catch Up Immunization. The Pediatricians will guide you through and will also inform you of the dates when you need to fix and appointment and follow up. However , we must always try and get our children regularly immunized.
There are Vaccination schedules such as School Health Immunization , Adult Immunization and Traveler’s Immunization Programs. Please do contact your GP/Pediatrician and you can also visit any of the health information centers located at every Dubai Health Authority registered Hospital to know more about these programs. The officials are always kind enough to guide you through them and give you a more proper information of the current protocols.
The National Immunization Schedule of UAE was developed by the Department of Public Health and Safety within the Dubai Health Authority inspired by the guiding principles of WHO (World Health Organisation). Immunization is an effective preventive intervention and is intended to support the body’s natural defense mechanism against infections. The main goal of immunization is to protect individuals and communities from infectious diseases. The National Immunisation Schedule is being constantly monitored to include the best and most safe interventional prevention available to the children of UAE.