Institution heads highlight this will streamline processes and keep communities safe
Schools in the UAE are applauding the government's recent decision to integrate vaccination records into the enhanced AlHosn app.
They reiterate this will facilitate better tracking for schools as well. The upgraded app includes comprehensive vaccination records for children from birth till they turn 18.
Parents will also find it easier to maintain records and to ensure their children receive essential vaccinations on time.
Karim Murcia, Principal/CEO, GEMS Al Barsha National School, said,
“I believe this new directive is a crucial step in ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and the entire school community. Vaccines play a pivotal role in protecting our children from deadly diseases and preventing the spread of these diseases among students. Vaccines not only shield our children from immediate infections but also safeguard them against serious diseases later in life. The directive to ensure vaccination is not just a health measure; it’s a responsibility we have to our students and their future wellbeing.”
Most schools have stringent policies regarding vaccination records. “We mandate that all students present their vaccination cards upon admission, and we ensure that compulsory vaccines are administered on time, particularly those given to babies from birth until 18 months of age.”
Sign a waiver
School heads explain in cases where a few parents choose not to vaccinate their children,
“they are required to sign a waiver acknowledging their decision.”
To further ensure compliance with vaccination requirements, school clinics work in coordination with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to conduct several vaccination sessions throughout the academic year.
In response to the challenge of non-compliance by some parents, schools are asking for up-to-date and verified records as part of admission processes.
“Starting this academic year, we have digitalised the admission process. As part of this digitalisation, parents are required to upload their children’s vaccination cards onto our system during the admission process,”
Principals also say making vaccinations compulsory for children can play a role in achieving herd immunity.
“It helps protect vulnerable populations who cannot be vaccinated, such as those with compromised immune systems. It can also reduce the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases in schools and communities. Ensuring that parents have access to accurate information about vaccines and their benefits is essential. Sometimes, vaccine hesitancy can be addressed through education. As a principal of the school, I would take up that responsibility,”
says, K George Mathew, Principal/CEO, GEMS United Indian School – Abu Dhabi.
So far, schools have been digitally submitting the immunisation card for each student to the KHDA system.
Wayne Howsen, Principal, The Aquila School said,
“We ensure that we fully respect and adhere to the guidelines provided by the local authorities. As part of our registration process at school, each child’s immunisation card is uploaded to the KHDA system. These types of requirements support the vision of ensuring that the UAE provides a safe school environment for children and a safe community for all living here. Our excellent clinic staff is equally fastidious in checking and chasing families so that no one slips through the net. We as it is do not allow children to start school without the record.”
News source: Khaleej Times