Hepatitis a vaccine for babies from February

Muscat: The Ministry of Health has launched the National Vaccine Action Plan (NVAP) and the National Measles and Rubella Strategy (NM RS) under the auspices of Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, on Wednesday.

Introduction of the new plan aims at widening coverage, access to new vaccines, mortality and disease reduction, and ensuring quality and safety of vaccines. Launched under the theme ‘together towards better immunisation services’, the ceremony was attended by ministerial staff and other officials.

New vaccines were also introduced as part of the National Immunisation Program. The main highlight of the National Plan will be the introduction of Hepatitis A vaccine in the childhood vaccination schemes.

From February 2020, the first dose for Hepatitis A should be given at 13-month-old babies while the second dose should be administered for 2-year-old who are born on January Additionally, Meningococcal Polysaccharide vaccine will be replaced by Meningococcal Conjugate that is given to the pilgrims, travellers to the endemic countries, and some other targeted categories. Compared with the previous vaccine, Meningococcal Conjugate is more effective and provides longer and secure immunity period and it can be given to all age group above age 9 months.

“The National Plan defines strategic objectives and priority actions for immunization programmes to guide efforts to control vaccine-preventable diseases in the Sultanate in the next five years”, said Dr Saif al Abri, Director- General of Disease Surveillance and Control.