Schools may discontinue vaccination services

Schools may discontinue vaccination services

A number of schools have said they will discontinue vaccination services to students after the Dubai Health Authority issued a new policy on childhood immunisation services.


Asma Ali Zain

Published: Fri 17 Jun 2011, 8:43 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:35 AM

Upon admission, each school is required to maintain a vaccination record of the child and if parents give consent, the student is administered a vaccine. On an average, a student receives up to six vaccines during the school years from Grade 1 to 10.

However, the health authority has issued a strict warning saying that schools will be held liable for any disregard to the issue of vaccination which is a public health right provided by the UAE government in line with the laws of the World Health Organisation.

At a meeting held with private schools in May, the authority informed the educational institutions of changes in the immunisation services on which schools expressed the desire to discontinue the services, without referring to the students’ parents.

It was not clear on Thursday as to what new measures the schools are required to undertake to continue the services. Sources said schools may have to invest more in order to meet the authority’s new criteria to become a Vaccine Qualified Clinic (VQC).

Last month, the DHA announced that all hospitals and clinics in the emirate would be given six months to be licensed as VQCs if they wished to continue offering immunisation services. However, to qualify as a VQC, the health facilities would be required to fulfil a number of criteria including proper vaccine storage facilities and hire a qualified and licensed physician and a nurse.

In a circular issued on Thursday, the authority warned the schools: “It is strictly prohibited to discontinue the vaccination programme in the schools as long as parents are giving consent to have their children vaccinated in school.”

“And you must continue the vaccination programme, even if the number of parents who wish to immunise their children in school are few compared to the total school population,” it said.

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