The vaccine is highly recommended, especially among high-risk individuals more susceptible to the disease, such as healthcare workers and children younger than 5 years Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, a subsidiary of the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, has launched its annual awareness campaign for seasonal influenza.

The campaign comes under the ‘Stop the Spread’ programme to raise awareness about the importance of preventative care and vaccinations and the vital role they play in improving community health.

Everyone aged 6 months and above is eligible to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine for free. The vaccine is highly recommended especially among high-risk individuals more susceptible to the disease, such as healthcare workers, children younger than 5 years, school-aged Children (5-18 years), pregnant women, adults aged 65 years and above, people with chronic conditions, Hajj and Umra pilgrims as well we smokers.

Currently, the flu vaccination is available at 111 health centres including 15 pharmacies, aiming to facilitate the patient experience and provide easy access to the best therapeutic and preventative healthcare services.

Through a seasonal influenza programme, the Centre aims to advise the community about the importance of identifying affected cases, analysing the viral pattern of the disease and the option of influenza vaccination for prevention.

Fighting dominant strains

The campaign will contribute to identifying dominant strains and making appropriate preventative measures available and reflects the emirate’s efforts to provide suitable vaccination options for citizens and residents, enhance effective health prevention and combat infectious diseases.

Dr Farida Al Hosany, Executive Director of the Infectious Diseases Sector at Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, emphasised the important awareness role played by the Centre through the Stop the Spread programme. This programme aims to provide the community with the necessary knowledge and culture to maintain public health and raise awareness about correct practices that prevent infection.

She added: “The seasonal influenza programme is a significant addition to the efforts of the Centre in the field of awareness and preventive healthcare. The centre is committed to collaborating with strategic partners to reduce potential complications related to infectious diseases by emphasising the importance of preventive measures, especially as we approach the influenza season.”

Recognised as one of the most effective methods of preventing seasonal influenza, vaccines protect against common types of influenza viruses and their components are updated annually to ensure their ability to provide the necessary immunity.

The Stop the Spread programme includes three more upcoming awareness campaigns for vaccination, foodborne illnesses and antimicrobials, providing the general public with the knowledge and motivation to make informed decisions on the benefits of preventative care and be part of the drive to protect society.