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Vaccines Are Prevention and Treatment Tools for Both Adults and Children

29 Apr 2024

During the last week of April every year, the world comes together to celebrate the World Immunization Week. This occasion is a global public health campaign aims at raising awareness and increasing immunization rates against vaccine-preventable diseases worldwide as well as promoting the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages from diseases. The World Immunization Week 2024 stresses the significance of vaccination to improve public health indicators and reduce the prevalence of vaccine-preventable communicable diseases. Dr. Hamad Al-Mudahkah, Director of PHCC Preventive Health Department, highlighted that immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world's most successful health interventions.  He also reported that approximately 20 million children worldwide still lack access to the necessary vaccines.


The importance of immunization lies in sustaining people's health and protect them from preventable communicable diseases, as well as protecting against disease complications, such as limb paralysis, hearing loss or brain damage, in addition to safeguarding community health, lowering the incidence of prevalent diseases ultimately leading to a healthy community that is free from communicable diseases and epidemics.


In this regard, Dr. Khaled Al-Awad, Director of Preventive Health Department, emphasized that vaccines are one of the most essential tools for preventing outbreaks and ensuring global safety. Therefore, it is imperative to increase investment in vaccines, including routine immunization; to eliminate any obstacles hindering their accessibility.


The world is currently witnessing remarkable advancements in vaccine technologies and science, as new and crucial vaccines are being developed to protect against numerous viruses, including coronavirus, influenza and human papilloma.


There remains a constant need to adhere to routine vaccination schedules in order to minimize the likelihood of children contracting severe diseases, such as measles and polio.


All routine vaccines are available and offered free of charge at all PHCC health centers (31 health centers). Individuals can receive vaccines periodically at their registered health center.


Due to the importance of vaccines and their active role in reducing the magnitude of epidemics and minimizing the loss of life as well as material losses associated with medication and treatment, PHCC encourages the activation of community engagement as an essential strategy to increase vaccine acceptance and demand by raising people's awareness of vaccines, addressing all questions regarding their safety and effectiveness and changing general perceptions and basic behaviors towards them.


Who therefore recommends that each country develops a strategy to increase vaccine acceptance and demand. This strategy will require a robust element of community engagement to address issues of trust and acceptance, including demand for vaccines, and to answer questions about priority criteria for vaccine delivery, such as who gets vaccinated first and why. This needs to be tailored to specific contexts to meet the needs of different population groups. Implementation will also involve a set of evidence-based interventions from behavioral and social science research, including community engagement, social media campaigns and training of healthcare and social workers.


In conclusion, PHCC encourages everyone to visit their health centers to complete Qatar's vaccination scheme in accordance with Amiri Law No. 7 of 1996 and to take other recommended vaccinations.