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24 September 2018 01:30 pm

What you should know about child vaccinations in Qatar

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
Content Writer
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Keeping our children safe from harm is a huge worry for most parents. We worry about them when they're at school, outside playing with friends, or even in plain sight at home! Many of these worries are groundless, but there are real risks to their health in the form of diseases that are incredibly simple to prevent. By making sure all your child’s vaccinations are up-to-date, you may be saving your child’s life -- these vaccinations are truly that important.

Vaccination is one of the greatest advances in modern medical practice. No other medical intervention has done more to improve the overall quality of human life and prevent needless death and suffering. And because of continual advances in medical research, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. These diseases include smallpox, which killed millions of people prior to 1980, when it was officially wiped out. The same applies to polio which, at its peak, paralyzed more than 1,000 children a day, and which has also been eradicated throughout much of the world via effective vaccination.

Having currently achieved 99 percent vaccination coverage, Qatar is working towards 100 percent coverage within the next six years. And, even better -- all vaccines for children are given for free in Qatar! So, here's a handy guide to help you discover all the relevant information on where and how to get child's vaccinations in Qatar.

Vaccinations save lives

Vaccinations are vital in the fight to prevent children from contracting entirely preventable diseases. Examples of these diseases include meningitis, diphtheria, whooping cough, cervical cancer, hepatitis A & B, human papillomavirus (HPV), influenza, measles, typhoid, and yellow fever etc. Most of these diseases will never occur in children if women in particular get vaccinated prior to pregnancy and then make sure that their children’s vaccinations are implemented according to medical advice from birth through to early childhood.

As HMC’s Head of General Pediatrics Division Dr. Ahmad Hassan Al-Hammadi states:“Vaccines develop the defense system in the body (immunity) so that one is protected against diseases. Worldwide, vaccine-preventable diseases are still the major cause of morbidity and mortality among children causing pneumonia, brain damage, choking, heart problems, paralysis and liver damage, amongst others.”

Vaccination schedule in Qatar

Standard vaccinations begin at an early age, with each one administered in accordance with a specific vaccination schedule. This is because each vaccine has to be separated by a pre-prescribed time interval to ensure maximum effectiveness. It's also because certain vaccines are not effective until a certain age is reached, as with the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, and rubella) which only becomes effective after the age of 12 months.

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Qatar follows the World Health Organization’s vaccine schedule, which is implemented in accordance with the age of the child. A total of 12 different vaccines (Bacille Calmette-Guerin, Hepatitis B, Hexavalent, Pentavalent, Hepatitis B, Poliomyelitis, Influenza Type B, Rotavirus, Oral Polio, MMR, Varicella, and Hepatitis A) are scheduled for children aged zero to 12 years of age.

Where can I get vaccinations?

There are many hospitals, clinics, and medical centres across Qatar offering vaccinations. You can contact one of them for full details and to make appointments.

Hamad Medical Corporation's Primary Health Centres in Qatar are the most popular choice for vaccination appointments, as they provide free vaccines.

What are the procedures?

Health center in Qatar
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If you wish to get vaccines from the Primary Health Centres, you have to contact your nearest health centre. Make sure you have the correct paperwork to obtain a schedule for vaccination -- your health card and vaccination card (if recently provided) are the main papers you need to take with you.

Once your appointment is booked, you'll be notified by SMS as well. You're advised to reach the health centre 30 minutes prior to the appointment.

Alternatively, if you'd like to get vaccinations at any private hospital or clinic, you can contact them and make an appointment at your preferred time.

What to do after vaccination

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So you finally got your child vaccinated! Don’t worry if he/she experiences some sort of pain or fever. Mild fever soon after a vaccination is quite normal and usually subsides within one or two days. If a mild fever occurs, give your baby the medication provided to you by the vaccination centre. You may also use cold and hot therapy to reduce pain or inflammation on the area where the vaccination was administered. On the other hand, if your baby doesn't get a fever after vaccination, relax -- the vaccine will be still effective on him/her!

Contact of Qatar's Ministry of Public Health Phone: (+974) 4407-0000/4407-0270 Official working hours: Sunday – Thursday (7:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.) Website: www.moph.gov.qa                         

Did this article help you to discover information on how to get a vaccination in Qatar? Let us know in the comments section, and don't forget to like and share this article!