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Thu 11 Feb 2010 07:53 AM

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Chicken pox vaccine compulsory for all UAE babies

All babies under one year old will be required to have the vaccine shot next year.

Chicken pox vaccine compulsory for all UAE babies
NEW JAB: All babies under one will required to have the chicken pox vaccine from next year. (Getty Images)

The chicken pox vaccine has been made compulsory for babies under one from next year,UAE health officials announced on Wednesday.

All babies – from expatriates and nationals – will be required to have the vaccine against the contagious disease when it becomes available at the end of the year, the National reports on Thursday.

The vaccine will be free of charge, the Ministry of Health said.

“The availability of this type of a vaccine will reduce the circulation of the virus at a global level, so kids don’t infect one another,” Dr Mahmoud Fikri, the ministry’s executive director of health legislation and policies, said.

“The world has become a village, and if a child in the US or Japan is vaccinated, then a child in the UAE should be vaccinated as well, as long as we have the capabilities to provide the vaccine.”

The vaccine has been available in the UAE since 2000, but only administered on the advice of a doctor, the paper reported.

“Now that it is approved by the World Heath Organisation and included in the national immunisation programmes of countries worldwide, we have recommended that it be approved to be part of our programme in the UAE as well, and it has been accepted,” Fikiri said.

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Purshotam 9 years ago

thank you world health organization for taking a good step

Brit happy to be here 9 years ago

I can understand the need to vaccinate children against some infections, but having gone through this myself surely it is better to let children catch it and build up a natural immunity, rather than vaccinating - there is no guarantee that the vaccine will provide protection in adulthood, when it is a much more dangerous time to contract chicken pox. You are taking away the rights parents to decide and having a knee jerk reaction, yet again - bravo!

Harvey Ellis 9 years ago

Surely, it should be every parent's right to decide whether to have their own child vaccinated or not? I know of many children that 2 weeks after being vaccinated against chicken pox actually caught it...as young as 6 months...so what's the point? By the time a child reaches 2 years, he/she would have had 25 vaccinations! I hate to imagine what this does to the immune system long-term? The human body has a fantastic natural immune system of its own....why disrupt this?

Amira Smith 9 years ago

The point of vaccinations is not just to benefit the child, but also to ensure herd immunity. By vaccinating kids, you prevent them developing and spreading the illness to the elderly, to very young babies - those who are most vulnerable, from an immunity perspective, to these illnesses. The problem is that kids traffic diseases very effectively. And there is really no benefit in getting a "natural" immunity versus an artificially-triggered immunity. And re: parental right to choose, in some cases, frankly I don't think they should be allowed to. Take the parents who STILL argue that the MMR vaccine causes autism - despite there not being a shred of scientific evidence to support their claim. That kind of scaremongering has seen MMR immunisation rates plummet in Europe - and we are, as a consequence, seeing increasing fatalies from measles and mumps for the first time in decades. Parents don't always know best.

Harvey Ellis 9 years ago

It's interesting to be compared to herds of animals. I thought humans were supposed to be freethinking people able to make choices for ourselves and not having something imposed upon us for us to follow like emm...well sheep! Please also note that there are an increasing number of prominent doctors also advising against taking vaccinations (it's not so straightforward as people are led to believe). Go to youtube and listen to the many stories. Also, read the thousands of cases of autism and the parents' accounts of what happened and then tell me there is no link! Rather then seeing this as scare mongering, I would truly argue that most parents vaccinate out of pure FEAR (which is how we seem to live in the world today) without knowing the full facts and the other side of the many arguments against vaccination- it is really horrifying to read the other point of view but we should all do this for the benefit of the next generation.

Kiri 9 years ago

I would say is to all parents: First educate and then vaccinate. Until now I have experienced that parents who get their children vaccinated without any question "because the doctor said so" have not done any research regarding this subject. When I ask from them: What does the vaccine contain? what are possible side effects? etc., why no-one never knows? Because you blindly trust. And this is simply sheepish. And this is that you are correctly refferring to as "herd". But the difference with humans is that we are able to think and research. Before coming to any forums, please study the subject- we dont want to know about your "beliefs". On these days there is no excuse- there is lots of information available from reliable sources everywhere. What scientific evidence (that vaccines (more specifically MMR) are not harming our childrens health) are you referring to? When you research, you find lots of evidence from INDEPENDENT (there is bifference between Big Pharma lobbied scientists and doctors) scientsts and doctors, which prove that vaccinations are crippling our children. There are very respectable people out there who now are educating the people. There is also another point here to view- is there anyone profiting for spreading certain information. I personally can not trust any research that is funded by any pharmaceutical companies who certainly are profiting from vaccine sales. Regarding increasing fatalies from measles and mumps for the first time in decades- please do your reseach in independent sources get your "facts" correct. And stop scaremongering. For your information, few months after vaccinating (when I did trust the doctors), both of my children against chicken box, both of them got it and the disease that normally causes quite minor discomfort, got extremely serious with very high temperature, pain and complications. You could ask your doctor to sign the undertaking, that in case of any complications he will be responsible. If he does not want to do that, there is something wrong. The main point is that we, as parents have to make smart choices for our children, not doctors, not governments. Or... as it has been in evolution - stmarter and stronger survive, weak and stupid, who are not able to learn and adapt, dissapear... I believe, the common sense wins- and I am hopeful about UAE.

Amira Smith 9 years ago

Kiri, please don't talk to me about educating oneself, when it is clear you haven't. The ONLY peer-reviewed (I am presuming you understand what that means, and that it is the gold standard for all medical research?) study to link MMR and autism was by Andrew Wakefield, and it has been completely discredited. He has been struck off Britain's GMC, the paper retracted and the data proved to be fraudulent. In comparison, dozens of peer-reviewed papers (and to address your point; in peer-review, researchers and doctors have to disclose their funding) have consistently shown no link between MMR and autism. None at all. This is just hysteria. There is INDEED a rise in outbreaks and fatalities - please check the stats widely available on the CDCP website with relation to the US, and the ECDC re: Europe. My facts are correct Kiri - I notice that you weren't able to quote a single fact to support any of your beliefs. Please do send us all a link to the studies (peer-reviewed, in a legitimate journal, not 'Scaremongers weekly' as I am presuming you subscribe to) that prove doctors are "crippling our children." I would love to see it. Harvey - thousands of parents do believe their children's autism is linked to vaccinations. They have my sympathy. But if this is the case, why have none of the papers commissioned by such parental groups failed to find a link? Again, these doctors that warn against vaccinations - why aren't they publishing their research and findings? Until they do, it is just ranting. FYI, the age at which MMR is typically administered and the age at which early signs of autism emerge tend to coincide. It may just be a very sad coincidence- the data certainly suggests so. And lastly -to all - 'herd immunity' is a completely accepted term for discussing group immunity in humans. Seriously -not something to get overwrought over.

Kiri 9 years ago

It is very obvious that you are an “insider” and your terminology and sources clearly demonstrate this. I talk about INDEPENDENT sources. Your sources are well known indeed but you assume these are authorities we should blindly trust. My understanding is based on facts from various sources on both sides, many independent sources that I’m sure do not have a hidden agenda and/or financial incentive for what they are writing. Some mainstream media do not always provide the full picture from both sides of the fence, sometimes because that media outlet has a vested interest in what they want people to hear. I am NOT telling people not to vaccinate their children. I am saying that people should know about this subject much more and they should be aware what are the risks and they have to make the choices based on that. People must have freedom of choice. You seem to have an opinion that people are herds of cattle that don’t know what is good for them and they need to be to told by authorities, with rules to be enforced by the sheepdog. You underestimate human intelligence and I find this attitude deeply disturbing. I guess in your case it would be naïve to hope that you have an open mind and you would be willing to see the full picture. There is a nice term for that - “professional idiotism”. However, here are few references for anyone else who could be interested: Doctors oppose the Government mandated vaccinations: http://www.aapsonline.org/press/nrvacres.htm Vaccination News: http://www.vaccinationnews.com/ National Vaccine Information Centre: http://www.nvic.org Vaccines Exposed: http://www.medicalvoices.org/vaccination/ Vaccination Articles and Testimonies by Medical Doctors: http://www.whale.to/vaccine/articles4.html Just to name few books that I have read due to unpleasant personal experiences with vaccinations with my own kids: Dr. Robert Sears: The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child (Little, Brown and Company, 2007) Dr. Mayer Eisenstein: Dont Vaccinate! Before You Educate" (CMI Press, 2008) Ravi Roy & Carola Lage-Roy: Homøopatisk behandling af vaccinationsskader (Klitrose, 1995). Isaac Golden: Vaccination. En gennemgang af risiko og alternativer (Klitrose, 1998). Viera Scheibner, Ph.D.: Vaccination. 100 years of orthodox research shows that vaccines represent a medical assault on the immune system. (Australian Print Group, Maryborough, Victoria, Australia, 1993). Guilaine Lanctôt, MD.: The Medical Mafia (The Key Inc. 1995) Dr. Joseph Mercola / Dr. Kendra Pearsall Take Control of Your Health (Mercola, 2007) Etc. I am pretty sure that the health authority will make the right decision very soon. "A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth." -- Albert Einstein

Harvey Ellis 9 years ago

Dear Amira, You seem to be missing the point here....this article is about mandatory vaccination of our children. For me, this is frightfully disturbing. Are you telling me that we have to give blind faith to our doctors and to WHO, thereby giving up our free-will and democratic choice? There are arguments from both sides of the fence and we could argue forever about the legitamacy of this source and that, this evidence and that, the opinion of this doctor against that doctor. Please don't expect everyone to subscribe to peer-reviewed medical evidence - this scares the life out of me and increasingly many other people around the globe. People have the right to have full access to both sides of the argument in order that they can make an informed choice. Unfortunately, very often Only from the internet can both sides of the argument be sourced. Question, can the medical profession prove conclusively that there is no autism link with vaccines? Until the medicos can tell us exactly what causes autism, vaccines are still top suspect ! Some examples of independent opinion can be gleaned from the following sources: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/3643888/Chickenpox-vaccine-is-bad-for-children.html http://www.tetrahedron.org/articles/vaccine_awareness/contradictions.htm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELx2eX_kM-w&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX4OqJmsMGY

Greer 9 years ago

Please read about this disease before thinking that it is of minor importance - it CAN and DOES KILL adults and children and it can lead to complications in adult life. Do you really think you are a responsible parent to gamble with your childs life and health? http://health.kaboose.com/kids-health/chickenpox.html Varicella is the disease caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV). This virus belongs to the herpes virus family and, like the other herpes viruses, infection is lifelong. Exposure occurs through direct contact with pox lesions, or even more commonly, when infected droplets from one person's cough or sneeze enter the body of another through the respiratory tract. After an initial infection (the outbreak of chicken pox) the virus travels up the nerve roots where it lives in a dormant state. Once reactivated, years or decades later, it travels back down the sensory nerve root where it appears as a localized rash called zoster, or shingles. Most commonly, shingles afflicts an older person as his or her immunity weakens, but healthy children can get shingles as well. VZV affects only humans and varicella occurs the world over. In temperate climates, it is seen most often in late winter and early spring. It is largely a disease of elementary school aged children. In the pre-vaccine era, 90 percent of varicella cases were seen in children between the ages of 12 months and 14 years. Of those, 50% were between five and nine years old. Yet, 10% of sufferers are adults, and adults tend to be harder hit by the virus. Of the four million cases of varicella seen per year through the mid '90s, only an average of 100 people died annually, so varicella was regarded as more of a nuisance than a killer. Yet, 50% of those who died were adults and the other half – the children – were generally in good health prior to infection. Furthermore, complications of this illness led to an average of 10,000 hospitalizations per year. In children, skin infections were the most frequent complications: As children scratched their itchy pox and broke open their skin, bacteria gained entry and caused cellulitis or impetigo. Less frequently seen complications included pneumonia, encephalitis and ataxia – a loss of balance caused by VZV's effects on a part of the brain called the cerebellum.