The best way to ward off the flu virus is to maintain a strong immune system, doctors advise. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Doctors in the UAE are advising residents to get rid of their vaccine fatigue in the wake of the pandemic and go for the flu shot to protect themselves from influenza.

Dr Leena Kapoor, specialist internal medicine, Prime Medical Centre, Al Barsha, explained: “The flu season usually peaks in December and January and continues until April. Taking vaccination for flu prepares the immune system. Every year, a new updated batch of vaccines is introduced for flu, which is tweaked to include protection against the prevalent strains. While these shots effectively prevent flu, it is also a good way to keep one’s immunity strong. In older people or those with comorbidities, getting flu can further weaken their immunity. A severe flu can cause chest infections.”

Dr Leena Kapoor

Take flu shots simultaneously with COVID-19 vaccine

Doctors say the flu shots can be taken simultaneously with COVID-19 vaccination. Dr Kapoor added: “According to CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines, it is absolutely safe to take flu vaccines even while you are getting vaccinated for COVID-19. You can take the flu shot the same day on different arms, along with the COVID-19 shot. If that is a problem, then one can also take it with a one-week or a couple of days’ gap, but it is important that people do not get vaccine fatigue and skip their flu shot.”

Prevention is always better than cure and the best way to ward off the flu virus is to maintain a strong immune system. Dr Ritu Manchanda, homoeopath with the German Medical Centre (GMC), Dubai, said: “The bottom line for good health is strong immunity. Our immunity in simple terms is our body’s coping mechanism in the face of any external threat. There are immune cells that adapt to fight back an invasion by external viruses.

Dr Ritu Manchanda

"Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with nutritionally balanced food, proper hydration, eight hours of restful sleep and regular exercise helps strengthen our immunity.”

Curative impact of plant-based medicines

Dr Manchanda who practises curative and preventive care with homoeopathic medicines feels it works best in the case of children and seniors. “Homoeopathic medicines have excellent preventative and curative results in case of Influenza. Parents are often wary of putting their children on antibiotics. So preventive care with homoeopathy is very effective.”

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Dos and Don’ts to prevent flu

• Practise hand hygiene. When outside and if you have touched a doorknob or handle, use a hand sanitiser as flu spreads through respiratory droplets.

• Avoid visiting public places such as swimming pools and crowded restaurants.

• Do not sneeze without covering your mouth and nose.

• Wear a face mask.

• Have a generous dose of Vitamin C and zinc to keep your immune response strong.

• Increase your fluid intake and keep yourself hydrated.

• Take steam inhalation and gargle with saline water.