Ministry of Health has indicated that criminal penalties including imprisonment and fine, as specified in the Child Protection Law, will be imposed on guardians who refuse to vaccinate their children to protect them from diseases, reports Al-Rai daily.
Head of the Child Rights Protection Office at the ministry Dr Mona Al-Khawari stressed the importance of vaccinating children and immunizing them with protective graft during the specified dates, affirming that the duty of ensuring children undergo vaccination and immunization rests with their parents or those under whose custody the children are. She explained that the criminal punishment against those who refuse or do not initiate to vaccinate their children, in line with the regulations and instructions issued by the competent medical authorities, is clear.
Article 83 of the Child Protection Law No. 21/2015 stipulates that “Without prejudice to any more severe penalty stipulated by another law, each parent, guardian or whoever is legally responsible for the care of a child, who has not initiated immunization with vaccines against infectious and childhood diseases in accordance with the regulations and instructions issued by the competent medical authorities, shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, and/or a fine not exceeding KD 1,000”.
Dr Al-Khawari said, “After some cases were reported at the office in the previous phases about some guardians refraining from vaccinating their children on the specified dates in October last year, the office, with the approval of the undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, contacted the Public Health Department and instructed the managers of preventive health centers that the parents who refrain from vaccinating their children by the specified dates should be informed about the articles in the Child Protection Law, and they should be given a grace period of 14 days. In case of failure to comply after the grace period, the office shall be notified and necessary action will be taken against the concerned parents.”
She stressed that ensuring children receive their vaccinations on the specified dates is a very important matter, adding, “The legislation has highlighted its special importance in terms of protecting and preserving the rights of children and their health and safety”. Dr Al-Khawari called on all parents to initiate the vaccination of their children on the specified dates in order to avoid what may result in criminal penalties stipulated by the Child Rights Protection Act