Vaccinations schedules- Qatar versus …

A few lovely folks have been leaving private messages on Facebook asking about the difference in vaccination schedules- India versus Qatar.

I personally had some trouble early on, when I came home for a vacation in April. Lil Z was 6 weeks old. She would remain here for over a month, and would miss getting her 8 week shots at Qatar.

In India, the first set of vaccinations (after the ones given at birth) are given at around 6 weeks. But in Qatar, they are administered at two months (eight weeks).

The diseases covered are almost the same. There are some differences in brands of vaccinations used. Fortunately, most that are available there, can be bought in India. And in a way, lucky that we were in India at the time, as there were no appointment slots available at the health center that we are assigned to. We would have had to visit a private clinic/ hospital anyway.

And to all those parents who ask/ think/ wonder if one can haggle/ request/ plead/ bargain/ argue and get their vaccinations done on time at the PHCC (if you do not have an appointment)- I am sorry to inform you that IT IS JUST NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! That is how the system works folks. Take it or leave it.

Lil Z also did not get an appointment for her four month shots. We got it done at a private hospital in Qatar.

We did manage to get into the PHCC system by seven months though- for her six month vaccines!

Getting back to business now….

So what are the differences?

For starters, let us look at the prescribed vaccination/ immunization schedules in some countries.

(Click on the individual pictures for a better view.)

INDIA

 

Source- Indian Academy of Pediatricians. http://www.iapindia.org/IMM%20Schedule.pdf
Source- Indian Academy of Pediatricians.
http://www.iapindia.org/IMM%20Schedule.pdf

UK

 

Source- https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/323504/8807_PHE_Complete_Immunisation_Schedule_A4_2014_11.pdf
Source- https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/323504/8807_PHE_Complete_Immunisation_Schedule_A4_2014_11.pdf

USA

 

Source- http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html
Source- http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html

 

These are the “basic” schedules. Additional “catch- up” schedules and other vaccines prescribed for high- risk categories are available on the source websites (check the picture captions).

Most countries tweak their vaccination programs to suit their needs, but they remain more or less identical in terms of the major diseases covered.

We decided to follow the QATAR program, since we will be here for a while. And honestly, is is very similar to the immunization program back home.

QATAR

 

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Initially, I drove myself (Mr H and his dear brother, who is for all purposes our Pediatrician :-)) crazy, obsessing over minutiae. Not any more. It is not as confusing as people make it out to be. As a doctor myself, I understand that these are merely protocols and guidelines; set in place to standardize and bring a sense of order and uniformity to matters. A week off here and there will not be harmful to your little one- do not worry!

Here are the brands of vaccines that they use at the PHCCs here… I clicked these pictures on my last visit there (Mesaimeer). Hope they help.

20140929_170628

 

20140929_170635

 

20140929_170711

 

20140929_170723

 

 

20140929_170735 (1)

 

These are the 4 month vaccines (Administered at a private hospital in Qatar.)

IMG_1348

 

We were able to find the same brands or suitable substitutes in India.

So, if you intend to travel a lot, the key is to follow one schedule and try to work around it. Hopefully, we will be in Qatar for the next vaccination drama!

Till next time… Dr J.

 

P.S. If you are confused with the whole DTP versus DTaP issue (you will, if you examine the schedules above closely), pm me on Facebook and I will try and explain it to you!

Also, irrespective of where Zoe received her vaccinations, I have them all entered in the vaccination card issued by Hamad. If you get the records from back home, the doctors/ nurses at the PHCC will fill them in for you. This is important as you will need to produce the vaccination record/ card at the time of admission to school here in Qatar.

 

 

 

 

 

15 Comments

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  1. hi, I am new in Qatar cam here in Feb-15 only. My Baby is 5.5 months old, we are here on visit visa and hopefully will be applying for RP in next couple of months. Up to four months all vaccination is done in India. 6th month vaccination is due. Please advice me where I can carry out the vaccination.

    • Until your RP is processed, I think the only option available to you is to visit a private hospital/ clinic… you will be charged anywhere between 850 to 1700 QAR for the 6 month vaccinations (depends on where you go really)…

    • Also, just to be absolutely sure…once you are here, visit Mesaimeer health centre and enquire if it is possible to get your baby’s vaccination done there if you are on visit.

      And do let us know how things went for you. It will help so many other parents who end up on this page with similar predicaments as your’s..

  2. hmm.. so i follow the 2 months (8 weeks) qatar immunisation schedule in India at 6 weeks and hope that the same vaccines are used in Doha. Qatar’s 2 months immunisation schedule includes Hexa, Rota 1 and PCV1 and Hepatitis B also needs to be given as it was not given at birth in India.

  3. starting to get confused about the immunisation schedule for my Baby H.. we shall be in india until Baby H turns 6+ weeks old and do not know whether to follow qatar’s immunisation schedule and get it done in India at 6 weeks, assuming that we get those injections here.. if we decide to get the immunisation done in Doha, it might get delayed since it would take time for Baby H’s residence permit formalities to get completed.. Any suggestions ?

    • I would get them done in India….then once Baby H’s RP formalities are complete, you can get into the PHCC system ….like I mentioned…you can get the same vaccines in India…even the brands… And they are far less taxing on your pockets! In fact…at four months we got them done at Qatar…they used the same brands that we did at eight weeks in India….

    • Main difference….apparently they use Infanrix in Qatar….but it’s not routinely used in India…. It may mean an extra injection in India…that’s all… Prevenar , Rotarix etc are routinely used in India as well….

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