We all understand the importance of vaccinations and that’s become even more significant given the pandemic that’s shaken the world this year. As the kids head back to the classroom, it’s essential that their immune system is in tip-top shape and their vaccinations are up to date – a requirement from the schools before the children return.

Whilst there might not be a vaccine for Covid-19 just yet, there’s plenty of other infection diseases that we need to protect our children against, and this part of the world differs from what we might be used to in the UK. We’ve spoken to Dr. Barbara Vercauteren from Koster Clinic, a mum of 2 primary-aged children, who shares her extensive knowledge of the vaccinations needed in the UAE to protect our children.

Vaccinating our kids against diseases is one of the kindest and most important things we can do as parents.  It will safeguard not only their life, but the lives of other children and people in the community.

Why do we vaccinate?

Infectious diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites.  Your child can get an infectious disease by ingesting contaminated food or drinks, inhalation of contaminated air, a sting of an infected insect or contact with a contagious person.  

Some infectious diseases are innocent, your child gets sick and it passes by itself.  Other diseases are dangerous and your child can get very ill and bear serious consequences. Vaccines prevent infectious diseases that once killed or harmed many babies, children and adults.

How do they work?

Our immune system keeps our body healthy. Whenour body gets sick from a certain bacteria or virus our body “remembersthis germ.  When we re-encounter the same bacteria or virus, our immune system recognises it and immediately attacks it so we don’t get sick again from the same germ.

Vaccines for children work with the same natural mechanism.  A vaccine contains either killed or greatly weakened antigens/disease particles which are no longer dangerous for your child but still cause their immune system to react and produce antibody and defence cells. So the vaccine helps your child build immunity against the disease, in a safe way, without having the illness and consequences themselves.

Differences between the UK and Dubai vaccination schedule

Immunisation schedules are different depending on where you live, because the risk of getting certain infections is higher in some parts of the world.  The National Immunisation Programme of Dubai contains vaccinations against BCG, HBV (Hepatitis B Virus), DTP/DTaP (Diphteria, Tetanus, Pertussis/Whooping cough), Hib (HaemophilusInfluenza Type B), IPV/OPV (Polio), PCV (Pneumococcal), MMR (Measles, Mumps Rubella) and Varicella.

The BCG vaccine and Varicella vaccine are not on the NHS vaccination schedule, but are listed in Dubai.

The Meningitis ACWY vaccine and Rotavirus vaccine are not on the local schedule but they are on the NHS vaccination schedule.  Both though are available in Dubai and widely administered. The Meningitis B vaccine is not available in Dubai but it is a part of the NHS vaccination schedule.  

It is important to know there are differences between the regional vaccination schedules.  Whether you are in Dubai for the longer term or planning to go back to the UK in the foreseeable future, vaccinating your children according to both schedules is good practice.  

If you want to know more about these specific diseases and the vaccines that differ between the Dubai and NHS schedules, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Barbara Vercauteren at Koster Clinic on 800 KOSTER or 04 388 1887.

Don’t miss our exclusive vaccination event on Wednesday 26th August 2020 where you can get a complimentary consultation with Dr Barbara Vercauteren.

Find out more here: https://britishmums.com/dubai/events/exclusive-british-mums-vaccination-day/ 

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