Amongst the preventable diseases diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis are most likely to affect children. Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has organised a vaccination campaign to begin from 18th February and extend till 15th March to prevent them.
The campaign is aimed at providing booster vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis for the children in grade 10 at government and private schools.
In a recent workshop conducted for Tdap vaccination MoPH Director of Public Health Sheikh Dr Mohammed al Thani said, “There are no outbreaks of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis in Qatar because people were vaccinated during their young age. The few cases we registered were from outside the country.”
It was explained that Tdap vaccination is effective for 10 years and is highly important for students in 10th standard as they are about to enter a very crucial period. The vaccination will protect the tenth graders healthy between high school, university and the time they are starting to work.
Booster vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis is a combination-immunising agent given by injection to prevent against those infectious diseases for a long duration.
Sheikh Dr Mohammed further explained that MoPH will be introducing wide spectrum of vaccines to cover more than 14 diseases and the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI). They will be unique, updated and advanced immunisation programmes in the region. He explained that supplementary immunisation activities that target high risk groups from time to time such as the Tdap campaign.
Though there are no local cases registered diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis in the last 10 years but there has been four cases were imported and it was identified that patients had not been vaccinated against the diseases.
MoPH has urged parents to permit for the vaccination and will be coordinating with school nurses on the same.
The focus is on increasing the immunity level of the population so that it prevents any outbreak even if there is any case coming from outside to Qatar. The dose that the 10th graders will receive will be the sixth which is a booster dose aimed at increasing immunity of children for the same, to avoid any outbreak given the crucial time of FIFA 2022 increasing the inflow of tourists.