‘Tis the Season: Flu shots are now available

By Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 3 October 2019: The seasonal influenza vaccine is available at hospitals and primary health care centres, according to the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP).

The vaccine will be continuously provided until next March, the ministry said in an announcement.

The ministry further stated that this comes as part of its efforts to protect individuals from communicable diseases, raise rates of vaccine coverage and to reduce the medical, social and economic burden of seasonal influenza.

Dr. Hussein Abdel Rahman Al Rand, Under-Secretary of the Ministry’s Health Assistant Sector, Health Centres and Clinics, said, “MoHAP is committed to providing influenza vaccines on an annual basis in view of its importance in curbing the prevalence of infection in society. Accordingly, MoHAP recommends that individuals and health workers get the seasonal influenza vaccine.”

Al Rand urged all the targeted groups to visit the nearest health centre or hospital and get the vaccine, including those who are experiencing inherited and acquired immunodeficiencies.

Get Your Shot

Dr. Nada Al Marzouqi, Director of MoHAP’s Preventive Medicine Department, said, “Seasonal influenza is a viral infection that spreads easily between humans, ranging from mild to severe. Pregnant women, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases are the most vulnerable to complications.”

Al Marzouqi said that getting the influenza vaccine was the best method of prevention from the age of six months.

She highlighted the importance of getting a seasonal influenza vaccine once a year. “For children under nine years of age, they need another dose. The interval between the two doses should be four weeks or more,” she explained.

The vaccination is not recommended for people with a severe allergic reaction to eggs, and those suffering from an acute disease accompanied by fever or excessive sensitivity before getting the seasonal flu vaccine, unless medically advised, Dr. Al Marzouqi concluded.