Immunization campaign launched Kingdom-wide
The Ministry of Health launched an immunization campaign against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) throughout the Kingdom on Sunday in coordination with the Ministry of Education.
MMR vaccines are being given to students in grade one.
Following the launch, Abdullah Asiri, assistant deputy minister for preventive medicine, said that the vaccination campaign will be carried out in government, private, international and community schools across the Kingdom.
He added that the program is being undertaken to prevent all types of childhood diseases, such as MMR, and maintain a disease-free Kingdom from illnesses, such as polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and chicken pox.
He also urged parents to cooperate with the school administration in order to make the project a success.
“This is a well-planned program that covers schools and universities in all 20 health regions in the Kingdom,” he said, explaining that each health region will have its own program to cover educational institutes in local areas.
Government schools in the regions will initially be covered, while students at community schools and foreign schools will be covered during the next four weeks. Regional health directors will also seek the cooperation of local governorates to carry out their tasks, he added.
The program is being carried out by Health Ministry in coordination with the Education and Higher Education ministries.
Children who have high fever can postpone their vaccination for a later date, he said.
“Children who suffer from immune deficiency diseases, such as HIV or similar congenital diseases, or those who are allergic to vaccines, should avoid this vaccination,” he added.
A specialist in measles at the Health Ministry has advised that children under the age of nine months need not take the vaccine since infants develop immunity against measles from birth.
“The vaccine can be taken again,” he said.
Measles are an acute viral contagious disease accompanied with fever, conjunctivitis, cough and red skin ulcers, starting on the face and covering all parts of the body from the third to the seventh days of infection.
Other common complications are middle ear inflammation, pneumonia, broncho-laryngitis, diarrhea and encephalitis.
There is no specific antiviral therapy for measles. Basic treatment consists of providing supportive therapy, such as hydration and antipyretics, and treating complications, such as pneumonia.