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Ask Louise – Vaccinations for Children in Dubai

ask louiseQuestionI need some advice on vaccinations for our 13 year old daughter and 11 yr old son.

I am totally confused, as I arrived here from France in December and both kids had their medical at school (one primary, one secondary). They both have the same vaccinations except our daughter has come home with a note from the nurse saying ‘hep A’ needs to be brought up to date, last one done 30/07/09, the document in France has noted next one due 2014! Daughters school nurse has advised also ‘hep B’.¬† However, our son has come home with nothing advised even though he has exactly the same vaccinations as his sister! What vaccinations should I be giving them? Can I do hep A and B vaccination together? Please help any advise is appreciated!

AnswerFor this question we contacted  Dr. Shola Faniran, Paediatric Specialist. Dubai London Clinic who advised the following:

Not having seen the children’s immunization record, generally, if a child is fully vaccinated in France, the extra recommended vaccine they would require is the BCG vaccine and the Hepatitis B vaccine.

The following are optional vaccines:

1. Rotavirus vaccine in babies. A vaccine I would highly recommend. It protects against the virus causing severe vomiting and diarrhoea in babies

2. Hepatitis A vaccine which can be given as a combined vaccine with Hepatitis B. If a child older than 1 year old is getting the Hepatitis B vaccine, I usually recommend the combined. Although optional in Dubai, it is required in neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and India. Full vaccination (that is 3 doses at 0, 1 and 6 months) protects for about 20 years. With regards to the hepatitis a, if taken alone, you need two doses 6-12 months apart. Restarting the course if first dose was given more than a year prior is at the discretion of the doctor. On the other hand, serology (blood) test can be done to look at level of immunity.

3. Meningitis ACWY vaccine. This is different from the MenC given in UK.

4. Influenza vaccine, especially in children with chronic medical problems, lung or heart disease.

Please click here for the Dubai Health Authority Recommended Vaccine Schedule

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