Qatari Infants to Receive Chickenpox Vaccinations
Free chickenpox vaccinations will be provided in Qatar through the primary health centers from September, reported the Gulf Times newspaper.
However, free vaccinations will be provided only to infants up to 12 months old and those categorized as “high risk,” an official at the National Immunization Committee said.
Early this year, the ministry of public health decided to include chickenpox (varicella) in the basic immunization program, thus becoming the first Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country to offer the vaccine free, said the paper.
A dose of live vaccine costs about $25. Qatar’s requirement is expected to be around 25,000 doses a year, said the paper, adding that the entire vaccine supply was imported.
Some 11,000 infants need be inoculated against chickenpox every year.
In the first quarter of this year, “chickenpox topped the list of [recorded] diseases with 86 percent,” said the official.
“The disease is no longer seasonal. It strikes every now and then,” he told the paper.
Last year, the department recorded some 2,250 cases of chickenpox, said the official – Albawaba.com