The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has launched the annual national Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccination campaign targeting approximately 20,000 grade 10 students from public and private schools.
“We have estimated that there are about 19,560 to be vaccinated in this year’s campaign, the 11th such event so far in Qatar,” Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani, director of the Public Health Department, told Gulf Times yesterday.
The campaign is in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the Primary Health Care Corporation.
MoPH organised yesterday a training workshop which was attended by more than 260 paramedical staff among others. The campaign aims to vaccinate male and female students from private schools and communities from January 12 to 16, while government school students will be vaccinated from February 16 to 25.
“This training will enhance awareness about the vaccination and help cover maximum number of students. We want to provide more awareness about the vaccination and its benefits and build a smooth system for the vaccination campaign,” explained, Dr Mohamed.
According to Dr Hamad Eid al-Rumaihi, director of Health Protection and Transitional Diseases at MoPH, the campaign targets to cover about 80% of the students.
“The vaccination campaign will give protection against these diseases up to 10 years. We target about 80% of the students to get vaccinated.We have eliminated tetanus in Qatar and have had a few cases of diphtheria and pertussis (Whooping cough) last year, spread by people who came from other countries. Otherwise Qatar is free from these diseases,” noted al-Rumaihi.
Al-Rumaihi also noted that the influenza vaccination campaign had been quite successful so far this year with more than 140,000 people vaccinated so far. “The vaccination drive is still continuing. Flu vaccine provides protection up to 60%. What is more important is that in most cases it prevents flu infection while in other cases, it reduces complications,” said al-Rumaihi.
Dr Soha al-Bayyat, head of the Vaccinations Department at MoPH, pointed out the goals of the campaign and the plans put in place to ensure its success. She also highlighted the success achieved by the campaign in the previous years since it was started in 2011.
She stressed the importance of the work by the nurses to raise awareness among students and in persuading students and their parents about the benefit of the vaccine.
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