As we are all aware, if a child is not vaccinated and is subsequently exposed to the germs of a disease, the child may not be strong enough to fight the illness and suffer unnecessarily.
Here, Dr Arun Kumar M.D. (Pediatrics), Clinic Lead Physician and Specialist Pediatrician at Mediclinic Al Sufouh, answers some frequently asked questions on child vaccinations.
Q. How important are child vaccinations?
Childhood vaccines are very important to prevent the individual child from many vaccine preventable serious illnesses. Getting these vaccines on time is also important for preventing the spread of these illnesses in the community.
Q. What are the age range a parent should consider vaccinations for their children?
Children need vaccines from birth. There are regular vaccinations at periodic intervals till 12 years.
Q. What are the vaccinations every child should have?
The mandatory vaccines for children in the UAE as per the health authorities include vaccinations against diseases like Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hemophilus influenza B, poliomyelitis, rota viral gastroenteritis, pneumococcal pneumonia, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox.
Depending on the country where the child lives and travels, optional vaccinations include vaccines against meningococcal meningitis, hepatitis A, typhoid and influenza A.
Q. How does a parent choose which vaccinations their child should have?
Every child should take the mandatory vaccinations as per the national immunisation schedule recommended in their country of origin and the country where they live. Optional vaccines are decided based on the discussion with their pediatrician which should include discussion on efficacy, safety, cost, family preference etc.
Q. Are vaccinations free or does a parent have to pay for them and are they covered medical insurance?
Most insurance cover the mandatory vaccinations recommended by health authorities. Some insurance also cover optional vaccines with some upper limit depending on the type of policy.
Dr. Arun Kumar M.D. (Pediatrics), M.R.C.P.C.H., MSc Alergy (UK)
Clinic Lead Physician
MEDICLINIC AL SUFOUH