Immunization higher national committee goals reviewed

Dubai: The immunization technical advisory committee held its first meeting under the chairmanship of Dr. Mahmoud Fikri, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Policies and Chair of the National Immunization Committee here in Dubai.

The committee reviewed the goals and role of the immunization higher national committee and the implementation of the recommendations of the world health organization. The committee will also examine all the technical aspects of immunization guidelines as per the rules and regulations of the world health organization.

Dr. Mahmoud Fikri, stated that the committee has been formed by a ministerial decision No. 402 of 2012 to enhance the role of the Ministry of Health in the immunization field and provide guidance about all technical and scientific topics that are related to vaccinations, immunization, role of national authorities and decision makers in this regard.

He said: “The committee works as an advisory board for national immunization to provide guidance and advise to the Ministry of Health, local health authorities, immunization national program, and competent vaccination and immunization authorities to get acquainted to the latest scientific progresses about the required vaccinations, analyze and evaluate policies and ratify all needed strategies and recommendations.

Dr. Fikri stated that the technical advisory committee will raise regular reports to His Excellency the Acting Minister of Health about all traded vaccinations in the UAE and approval of new vaccinations as part of the national immunization program.

He also mentioned that there are five approved and available vaccinations in all preventive medicine and primary health centers. The first type is given throughout the first year of life, the second type is the vaccination that is available in all the ministry’s facilities and health authorities but is prescribed as per the doctor’s instructions, and the third type is given to all travelers as specified by the world health organization in its regular handbook such as the yellow fever and meningitis given to pilgrims.

The fourth type is given at the time of international health crises that may disseminate in different countries such as the H1N1 or H5N1 which are available in all preventive medicine centers but given when necessary. The fifth type is the new vaccination that is traded by a specialized company in the markets but is subject to the approval of the higher national immunization committee before adding it to the national immunization program.

The technical advisory committee will also discuss the new vaccinations to be added by the ministry of health as part of the national immunization program of which the new vaccination for the prevention of certain infectious diseases that may cause cervical cancer in addition to Rotavirus to prevent children from intestinal and diarrhea infections.

“The technical committee will also review the amendments and the component changes of some vaccinations before submitting it to the higher national immunization program. These include quartet, quintet and hexagon vaccinations”, he concluded.