Immunizations in the UAE

Sterling had his 2-month round of shots today. It's never fun to watch your baby get stabbed with a needle, but I confess that I feel some relief knowing that he's on his way to immunity to many horrible diseases. His unvaccinated state was a small source of worry to me since there are so many weird diseases still roaming around the UAE. I know it will take more doses of these shots to confer full immunity, but like I said, he's on his way.

The immunization schedule here is very similar to what I remember from the US. However, we opted to have Sterling get the BCG (tuberculosis) shot at 10 days, which is not on the US schedule. Today, he had Hexavalent (DTPa, Hib, HepB, IPV) and PCV shots, with an oral administration of Rotavirus.

Interestingly, vaccines are not covered by insurance here. A few years ago, Sharjah ran some kind of promotion (a weird term for it, I know, but that is kind of what it was) on vaccines and they were available for free or low cost at certain hospitals, courtesy of the Ministry of Health. Today, without the promotion, I paid 757dhs (about $200) for the doses themselves, and 200dhs (about $50) for the doctor visit to administer them.

Even more interesting was the way the whole visit proceeded. Sterling had his doctor checkup first, then the doctor wrote a prescription for the vaccinations. I went to the pharmacy to collect them and pay for them (breakdown: hexavalent -168dhs, PCV - 336dhs, and Rotavirus - 253dhs), and then returned to the doctor's office to have the nurse administer them. Very DIY.

Am I annoyed that our insurance covered neither the visit nor the vaccines themselves? Of course. But I'm so thrilled that the vaccines exist that it doesn't really matter.

The Ministry strikes again

An accident