High vaccine coverage is crucial for preventing the spread of infectious diseases during mass gathering
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Background: Vaccines are the most cost-effective intervention in public health as they prevent the spread of highly contagious infectious diseases. Because of vaccine implementation and high coverage, Measles was eradicated in 2000, however the recent reappearance of measles in the United States, Europe and globally is alarming. The resurgence of Measles, Diphtheria and Mumps is due to a reduction in vaccine coverage and herd immunity. Vaccine hesitant parents, antivaxxers, and fake news on vaccines are driving the surge in those infectious diseases. The World Health Organization issued the Global Vaccine and Immunization Action Plan to reiterate the importance of vaccine implementation and coverage for several vaccine-preventable infectious diseases in the world. Qatar is preparing for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 therefore maintaining high vaccine coverage is critical in preventing infectious diseases spreading during such mass gathering. Methods: Literature search for vaccine coverage rates, resurgence of vaccine preventable infectious diseases and risks of mass gatherings. Results: Seventeen infectious diseases are currently vaccine-preventable. The cost-effectiveness of vaccine is documented as it is estimated for each dollar spent on vaccines, 10 dollars are saved in disease treatment. A drop in vaccine coverage rates to under 90% lead to the resurgence of measles. Vaccine coverage rates in Qatar is currently at 95% which is one of the highest in the world. Qatar must maintain this high coverage rate to prevent any measles outbreaks during mass gatherings. The planned World Cup event will take place from November 21 till December 18 2022, which is the peak for seasonal influenza. In preparedness for this major event, Qatar should encourage residents and visitors to be vaccinated not just against measles and seasonal influenza, but also hepatitis and meningitis. Conclusion: Maintaining 95% vaccine coverage rate is critical for preventing the resurgence of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases during the World Cup mass gathering in Qatar.
- Theme 2: Population, Health & Wellness [123 items ]