The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced on 8 February 2023 the launch of the annual vaccination campaign against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (Tdap). The vaccination campaign will start mid-February in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) and the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC). This year, the campaign aims to vaccinate high school students in independent, private, and public schools in the State of Qatar.
The campaign comes in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 to improve the health of the population and as part of the Ministry of Public Health's efforts to enhance the immunity of male and female students at this age and in implementation of the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) to take the vaccine against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis every 10 years as a booster dose.
Dr. Hamad Eid Al-Rumaihi, Manager of Health Protection and Communicable Diseases Control Department at the Ministry of Public Health, said:
The implementation of the vaccination campaign against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (Tdap) annually aims to enhance the immunity of male and female students, against these three diseases. The World Health Organization recommends that the vaccination against the three diseases should be taken every 10 years as a booster dose. He clarified that this comes within the framework of the periodic vaccination for adolescents and within the National immunization schedule in the State of Qatar.
Dr. Hamad Al-Rumaihi added that the State of Qatar does not suffer from the spread of tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough, which is attributed to the high vaccination coverage; However, he emphasized that attention should be paid to the seriousness of the three diseases targeted by the vaccine, which may cause serious complications including death or total disability to the person infected with any of them.
Mr. Mohamed Abdullah Al-Maraghi, Director of Health and Safety Department at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, said that the annual campaign to vaccinate tenth grade students against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough comes within the framework of continuous cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to enhance the health and immunity of students, in a way that contributes to their health and wellness to prepare educated and healthy generations.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education is keen on the success of the campaign and urged parents of students to agree that their children receive the safe and effective vaccine.
Dr. Soha Albayat, Head of vaccination at ministry of public health stated that: The vaccine is not new, and it is part of the childhood vaccination program, part of adolescent routine vaccination and it is a pre-entry requirement for most colleges both locally and internationally
Dr. Soha encourages parents and guardians of the students to have their children take the vaccine, as it significantly enhances their health and protects them from diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough.
It is noteworthy that; diphtheria is an acute disease that affects the mucous membranes because of infection with the diphtheria germ, which results in infection in the throat, mouth and nose. Sometimes the inflammation extends to the bronchi and larynx and may lead to suffocation and inability to breathe, while tetanus affects the nervous system with painful spasms. Mostly concentrated in the jaw and neck muscles and general contractions of the body muscles.
Whooping cough causes severe coughing spells that can lead to difficulty breathing, vomiting and sleep disturbances and may also cause weight loss, incontinence, and rib fractures in severe cases.
Cover image credit: Shutterstock
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