UAE Launches Shingles Vaccine for Residents Aged 50 and above

Herpes zoster vaccines, which have been shown effective in reducing the incidence of shingles, are now available via the health care system according to the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP). People in the 50+ age bracket can get this immunization.

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Shingles Prevention with a Two-Dose Vaccine

The herpes zoster vaccine is administered in two doses, with a six-month gap between them. This vaccination aligns with best practices in disease prevention, aiming to eliminate or reduce the risk of shingles infection among adults.

Understanding Shingles

Shingles is a viral infection that results in a painful skin rash. It occurs when the same virus responsible for chickenpox reactivates in a person's system. Typically, a shingles infection leads to a rash with painful blisters that commonly appear on one side of the body. The herpes zoster vaccine is effective in protecting against both the disease and its associated complications.

Ministry's Announcement

At a scientific meeting held at its Dubai headquarters, the Ministry of Health and Prevention made the news. Managers from several ministry administrations and departments, as well as representatives from local health authorities, were present at the session led by Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, assistant undersecretary for the Public Health Sector.

Raising awareness and strengthening health workers

The session emphasized the importance of raising societal awareness about preventive vaccinations for targeted groups, particularly the vaccination against shingles. It also highlighted the need to enhance the awareness of health workers regarding the latest global recommendations for shingles. These efforts contribute to reducing the health burden of preventable diseases by increasing the national vaccine coverage rate.

Developing a Vaccination Program

Dr. Al Rand, in his opening address, stressed the necessity of integrating the herpes zoster vaccine into the national recommended adult vaccination program. The objective is to prevent infectious diseases and enhance vaccine coverage rates.

This approach ensures the achievement of optimal results and relies on the development of a vaccination policy that sustains high vaccine coverage rates. It also allows the system to stay up-to-date with global developments, establishing a robust immunization system against diseases targeted by vaccines and supporting the UAE's national health and quality of life figures.

Dr. Al Rand stated, "The UAE is considered a global leader in the field of vaccination thanks to its visionary leadership and through its provision of all relevant cadres and capacities to advance the development of the national vaccination ecosystem by enhancing its sustainability and pre-emptive edge.

These actions preserve the health and well-being of Emirati society while meeting public health targets, in line with the Ministry’s strategic priorities to develop the national health system and shield the public from communicable diseases via proactive measures that follow international best practices."

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