Abu Dhabi: The Department of Health Abu Dhabi has advised residents to take the seasonal influenza vaccine ahead of the onset of winter, starting in December, during which this type of flu becomes contagious. Vaccination protects against common viruses that cause influenza, and is updated annually to ensure continuous immunity.

Individuals are protected for up to two weeks from the date of receiving the vaccination. Approximately 235,000 influenza vaccines were administered between August 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, which indicates a significant increase in awareness of the impact of vaccinations amongst local residents.

It is recommended that individuals aged six months and above receive a single dose annually. DoH recommends that children of age nine or below be administered two doses, with the interval between the doses being four weeks or more.

Seasonal influenza is a disease caused by influenza viruses, which mainly affect the respiratory system, specifically the nose and the pharynx. The symptoms range from mild to severe, where a majority of patients diagnosed with influenza require between a few days and up to two weeks to recover from infection. Those affected may develop exacerbated inflammation of the lungs, ear, sinuses, or general deterioration of the health. The flu may also cause severe complications in young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals with chronic illnesses or weak immunity.