20 Nov 2019 00:00:00 AM Breaking News
Emirates to carry over 6,500 passengers to Dubai for Amway’s largest leadership gatheringTrading of Emirates NBD Bank’s rights issue to take place this NovemberSelling pressure on Emaar drags DFM 1.3% lowerEmirates NBD hires Standard Chartered's Patrick Sullivan as CFOWorld Bank chief asks India to reform financial sectorEarly settlement charges on home loans in UAE reducedBreast Cancer Awareness: How to do a self-exam and why it is a mustDFM surges 4.8 percentageas Emirates NBD hikes foreign stakes limitMcDonald’s enlists Alexa and Google to help with its hiring84-year-old Indian man goes skydiving in DubaiUAE in Space: Have questions for Hazza on the ISS?Indian minister seeks direct flight between Bhubaneswar and DubaiExpo 2020 dome now complete, marking new milestone for UAEEmirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri undergoes final test as lift-off nearsSoftBank triples net profit in Q1Microsoft 'listens' to conversations, but only with permissionChina warns India of ‘reverse sanctions’ if Huawei is blockedStocks, oil edge higher as trade-war panic easesTens of thousands losing jobs as India's auto crisis deepensSerena again tops Forbes list of highest-paid sports womenDubai equity traders get a reason to cash out ahead of holidaysRight time to invest? UAE equities attractive on low valuations, positive indicatorsIndian rupee hits 19.21 vs UAE dirhamHumid and dusty weather in UAE until Eid weekendHeathrow airport strike: Emirates issues travel advisoryEid Al Adha 2019: Four-day holiday in UAEEid Al Adha to be celebrated on August 11 in UAENissan, Renault eye restructuring for Fiat merger: report Nissan controls 15 per cent and has no voting rights in Renault

Flu shots now available at hospitals across UAE

The ministry said the vaccine would be supplied until March 2020.

Sharjah resident Shazia Baig couldn't help but monitor her kids even when she's at work as they had been down with fever after barely a month of going to school. A number of other parents have reported similar cases.

To prevent more flu cases from cropping up, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) has taken action, announcing on Wednesday that a seasonal influenza vaccine is now available at hospitals and primary healthcare centres. 

The ministry said the vaccine would be supplied until March 2020.

Influenza is an infectious disease caused by a virus, and symptoms can be mild to severe.

Among the symptoms are high fever, body ache, headache, runny nose, sore throat, weeks-long cough, sneezing and tiredness.  "Flu season occurs during the colder half of the year, usually beginning from October to end of March," said Dr Waleed Dandan, paediatric specialist at Prime Hospital.

As schools reopen, cases of this viral fever have emerged, experts noted. 

Children aged six months and older are advised to have the shot, Dr Dandan added.

"Besides getting the vaccine, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from the crowd and sick people and washing your hands frequently."

Dr Nada Al Marzouqi, director of Mohap's preventive medicine department, said pregnant women, seniors, and people suffering from chronic diseases are the most vulnerable to complications.

"Getting the influenza vaccine is the best method of prevention," she said.

Dr Al Marzouqi recommends having the vaccine once a year, but for children under nine years old, another dose is required.

However, for people with severe allergic reactions to eggs and those suffering from an acute disease, medical advice needs to be obtained prior to getting the shot. 

Dr Hussein Abdel Rahman Al Rand, undersecretary of the ministry's health assistant sector, health centres and clinics, said: "Mohap is committed to providing influenza vaccine on an annual basis in view of its importance in curbing the prevalence of infection in society."

Welcome move

Doctors hailed the ministry's move to make the vaccine accessible to all.

Dr May Shaker, general practitioner for paediatrics at Zulekha Hospital, said: "It is a good move as it is very important for adults and children to take the vaccination to avoid the seasonal flu."

Hospitals across emirates have also organised campaigns to promote the vaccine. Dr Khaled Shuhaiber, medical director of American Hospital, Al Barsha, said: "American Hospital Dubai is offering flu vaccines at its premises or any of its associate satellite clinics. As part of its mission to offer premium medical care to patients, the hospital advocates and encourages people to take the vaccine as it not only protects those administered but also all those around them. People are encouraged to book a session with physicians at American Hospital Dubai or its associated clinics to get examined and consulted."

A large number of severe flu cases, were reported in the UAE last year during the winter season. Dr Venkiteswaran Ramanathan, medical director, Aster Hospitals UAE, said: "The influenza vaccine is considered very essential in the Western countries, especially for people who are vulnerable like children, asthmatic patients, people who are suffering from chronic diseases. In this part of the world, the flu vaccine was considered as an optional one until last year."

He added: "Most of the pediatricians in the country now are advising parents to get it done for their children and themselves. Influenza vaccine as the best method of prevention of complications with the influenza. It is a very welcome move by the UAE health ministry to ensure the availability of the vaccines across all the hospitals and primary health centres."


>Children (those younger than 9 years old must get two doses)

>People suffering from chronic diseases

>Pregnant women


>Health workers