MOH News

EPI Increased to More Than 95% in the Kingdom
03 May 2011
Assistant Deputy Minister of Health for Preventive Medicine, Dr. Ziad Memish, announced that the number of Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI)-targeted diseases in the Kingdom has reached 13 diseases in2010, compared with fivediseasesin1979. EPI in the Kingdom has increased to more than 95% of primary vaccines, leading to a significant reduction in the rates of EPI-targeted diseases.

Dr. Memish added that the Kingdom’s celebration of the Second Vaccination Week is a celebration of the program’s national achievement in protects our children from many infectious diseases and complications such as disability and death. Second Vaccination Week aims to raise public health awareness about the importance of immunization in protecting society from infectious diseases.

Moreover, he added that the Ministry has been committed to EPI since the program began decades ago. Since 1979, the government has supported the practice of tying the issuing of birth certificates to parents to the successful completion of all primary immunizations against diseases which are targeted by available vaccines. 

The EPI schedule was unified in all government and private health sectors in1991by the National Immunization Committee. This committee is made up of specialists from the Preventive Medicine Assistance Agency and other government authorities, including the National Guard, the Ministry of Defense and Aviation, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and the College of Medicine and King Saud University. EPI has evolved rapidly to keep pace with updates in the field of immunization, including the use of combined vaccines.  For example, from 2002, a quadruple vaccine was introduced to reduce the total number of injections administered to each patient.

The EPI made a quantum leap during the periodbetween2008and2010 with the addition of hepatitis A, chickenpox, streptococcus and meningitis to the available vaccines. This advancement was due to Allah’s blessings, and to the support of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, His Crown Prince and the Second Deputy.

Last Update : 07 May 2011 09:43 AM
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