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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Vital Vaccinations for Children Traveling during Umrah or Eid Holidays, UAE Doctors Emphasize Empowering Safety

Vital Vaccination for Umrah or Eid Travel , UAE Doctors Empowering Safety

Around 20 percent of parents in the UAE inadvertently overlook their children’s routine vaccination, according to healthcare professionals. Many are unaware that missed vaccines can be administered later through a “catch-up” schedule. Mandatory childhood vaccines outlined by the Department of Health (DOH) include BCG, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Haemophilus influenza type B, Pneumococcal, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, and Polio & Rota virus vaccines.

Vital Vaccination
Vital Vaccination


Dr. Hussein Nasser Matlik, Head of Department and Consultant Pediatric Neurology at Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi, noted that approximately one to two out of ten parents may occasionally forget or delay their child’s vaccinations, often due to social challenges. However, he emphasized that vaccination delays are generally unacceptable. Although some families may postpone vaccinations due to their child’s illness, this should not be an excuse. Vaccinations should ideally proceed as scheduled, with delays of no more than two to three days unless there is acute illness.

Parents are encouraged to discuss with pediatricians during routine visits how to obtain remaining vaccines through a catch-up schedule and the necessity for optional but recommended vaccines. Dr. Sandeep Panikkasseri Dasan, Specialist in Pediatrics at Aster Clinic, Muhaisnah, highlighted that two out of ten parents tend to overlook routine vaccinations. During the pandemic, the prevalence of zero-dose vaccination was 14 percent globally and seven percent in the Middle East, according to UNICEF data. Many parents are unaware that missed vaccines can be administered later through a catch-up schedule.

Doctors stressed that shared dining facilities and potential hygiene challenges during peak travel times increase the likelihood of disease transmission, making preventive measures essential. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all pilgrims before embarking on their journey, as influenza poses a significant threat due to its rapid spread in crowded environments. The Hepatitis A vaccine is also crucial, particularly for older children traveling to areas with poor sanitation standards, as it provides long-term protection.

Healthcare professionals emphasized the importance of obtaining vaccinations as soon as possible to protect children’s health, especially during peak travel times. Reminder systems can help parents remember to get Vital  vaccinations on time, reducing missed opportunities. Vaccinations should ideally be administered four to six weeks before travel to allow sufficient time for the body to develop immunity and ensure the maximum effectiveness of the vaccine. In addition to routine immunizations, optional Vital  vaccines such as influenza, typhoid, hepatitis A, and meningococcal are recommended.

As Muslims worldwide prepare for upcoming Ramadan and subsequent Umrah pilgrimages, it is essential to recognize the heightened risk of exposure to contagious diseases, particularly among pilgrims traveling with children or elderly individuals. Immunization before travel is crucial to minimize the risk of contracting preventable diseases and ensure a safe and healthy journey.

Dr. Osama Elsayed Rezk Elassy, a clinical assistant professor, consultant, and head of the division at the Centre for Paediatrics and Neonatology at Thumbay University Hospital, emphasized the importance of immunization, especially as Muslims prepare for the upcoming Ramadan and Umrah pilgrimages. With heightened travel during these religious events, the risk of exposure to contagious diseases increases, particularly for children and the elderly.

To safeguard against such risks, Dr. Elassy stressed the necessity of immunization before travel. He highlighted the significance of adhering to Vital  vaccination schedules and ensuring that children are adequately protected against preventable diseases. With the upcoming religious festivities, it becomes crucial for families to prioritize their health and well-being by taking proactive measures such as Vital  vaccinations.

Furthermore, Dr. Elassy underscored the importance of raising awareness about  Vital  vaccination and its role in preventing the spread of diseases. By educating parents and caregivers about the benefits of immunization, healthcare professionals can empower them to make informed decisions regarding their children’s health.

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