MOH News
MOH Statement on Vaccines and Immunization
02 February 2017
The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed that all vaccines it provided are safe, saying that they are very important to the health of children and adults as well, and refuted what have been circulated in the social media about their harm. In a statement it said, "The vaccines and immunization are reckoned an important and unique invention in our modern world, which contributed to radically reshaping medical practice and public health. The vaccine used in immunization is safe and effective and provides a long-term protection and has been adopted and used worldwide for more than 40 years. It is also approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the GCC Unified Procurement Specifications for Medicines and Vaccines".
 
It added that the infectious and vaccine preventable diseases, such as polio and measles, will return if we stop vaccination programs, even if we care about personal hygiene since disease-causing germs are capable of causing diseases regardless of how clean we are. It reaffirmed that the vaccines are very safe and the side effects, if any, are usually minor and temporary, while serious side effects of vaccines are extremely rare, pointing out that these vaccines are carefully monitored both locally and internationally, and it is far more likely to be at risk of the side effects of infectious diseases than serious side effects of the vaccines. 

The statement indicated that there is no any link between the vaccines and the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) since infants may get SIDS whether they are vaccinated or not, and the risk of death from vaccine preventable diseases is far more greater than SIDS deaths. 
Although there is a dramatic decline in the vaccine preventable diseases, the infectious viruses that cause them continue to circulate in many countries around us and with the available means of transportation and arrival of a large number of people into the Kingdom for work, Umrah and Hajj, the return of these diseases to the Kingdom is very likely to happen if they are not committed to vaccination. In Western Europe, for example, measles outbreaks have occurred in unvaccinated populations in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland during the last decade.  
 
The MOH highlighted that scientific studies have shown, time after time, that vaccines have no adverse effect on the immune system as our bodies are exposed to several hundred substances and compounds that trigger the immune response every day and even coexist with huge number of bacteria in a continuous basis, therefor triggering the immune system with vaccines does not represent any noticeable increase to them. Moreover, the vaccines trigger the immune system to fight the infection in a way similar to that produced by the infectious disease, but the main difference is that the vaccine protects against the infectious disease but doesn't cause complications.

It added that we may pay a high price as a result of the infectious disease, such as birth defects from rubella or paralysis in four limbs resulting from polio or liver cancer from hepatitis B virus.

The MOH stressed that influenza is never a minor disease as it kills 300,000 – 500,000 people worldwide every year in addition to million cases that require hospitalization and referral to ICU for long periods. Pregnant women, children, elderly people with chronic diseases, like asthma, heart disease, diabetes and others are at higher risk for severe infection and death. And influenza vaccines offer immunity against three most prevalent strains and these vaccines are effective and secured and even the best way to fight influenza. 
 
At the end of the statement the MOH called on citizens and residents in the Kingdom to abide by the MOH's official statement via its formal channels only, and not be misled by what circulating in the social media, praying for Almighty Allah to bless everyone with health and wellness. 
 
 

 



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