Qatar will introduce a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for cervical cancer and genital warts this year, disclosed a senior official of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Wednesday.
“We will launch the HPV vaccine during the International Vaccination Week in April. This is approved by the Immunisation Technical Group for both male and female from the age of 12-26,” revealed Dr Hamad Eid al-Rumaihi, director, Health Protection & Communicable Disease, MoPH on the sidelines of the vaccination training programme for healthcare professionals in the country.
“We will have educational activities until we get the vaccine. We will announce the details of the vaccination campaign later,” explained Dr al- Rumaihi.
“It will take some time for the vaccine to be made available in the country as it has to go through the tendering process. We will also have to look at the availability of the vaccine with the manufacturer. The vaccination, an optional programme, will be available at the government facilities,” continued the official.
As for the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap ) vaccination campaign, Dr al-Rumaihi said that there were four cases of these diseases in the last two years. “All these cases were in people who came from outside of Qatar. We had confirmed that these happened on individuals who had not received the vaccination in an early age. Our aim is to keep Qatar free from all these three diseases,” he noted.
“We give five doses of vaccines before giving the sixth dose, a booster dose for class 10 students. This will prevent any outbreak even if there are any cases from outside. As Qatar is getting prepared for the FIFA 2022 World Cup, it is important to have a strong immunisation system to prevent any outbreaks in Qatar. Qatar being the international hub of tourism and the number of tourists are increasing in the country, it is important to sustain our efforts,” he described.
“We also want to take adequate precautions by giving these doses as there are outbreaks of these diseases in the region such as Yemen and in countries such as Bangladesh and Indonesia. We do not want to take any chance and will be vigilant against any such diseases to make sure that Qatar remains free from any of these diseases,” he added.