The Ministry of Health and Prevention has announced that it is now offering the herpes zoster vaccine, the certified vaccine for the prevention of shingles, at health facilities serving those 50 years old and above.

The vaccine, which is administered in two doses six months apart, supports disease prevention in line with prevention best practices to eliminate or reduce the risk of shingles infection among adults while diminishing complications for those infected.

The Ministry made this announcement at its headquarters in Dubai during a scientific session attended by Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, the managers of several Ministry administrations and departments, and representatives of local health authorities.

The session highlighted the need to raise societal awareness on the importance of preventive vaccination for targeted groups, with a focus on vaccinating against shingles and enhancing the capacities of health workers by boosting their awareness on the latest global recommendations regarding shingles. These efforts will contribute to diminishing the health burden from diseases that could be prevented by raising the national vaccine coverage rate.

In his opening address, Al Rand stressed the need to integrate the recognised herpes zoster vaccine, the certified vaccine for shingles, into the national recommended adult vaccination programme with the aim of preventing the infectious disease and increasing the vaccine coverage rate. This step, which will ensure the achievement of optimal results, relies on the development of a vaccination policy to maintain the vaccine coverage rate and keep up with global developments in the field in order to build a system of healthy immunisation from diseases targeted by vaccines and support the UAE’s national figures for preventive health and quality of life.

Al Rand noted that the UAE is considered a global leader in the field of vaccination thanks to its visionary leadership and through its provision of all relevant cadres and capacities to advance the development of the national vaccination ecosystem by enhancing its sustainability and pre-emptive edge. These actions preserve the health and well-being of Emirati society while meeting public health targets, in line with the Ministry’s strategic priorities to develop the national health system and shield the public from communicable diseases via proactive measures that follow international best practices.