Dubai Health Authority Flu vaccination
Image Credit: Supplied

In line with Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) mandate to ensure the safety and well-being of the people of Dubai, the authority is launching an influenza roadshow where it will be visiting 26 government entities in Dubai, with the aim of vaccinating more than 24,000 employees.

Dr Hend Al Awadhi, Head of Health Promotion & Education Section at the Public Health Protection Department, DHA, said the roadshow aims to raise awareness about the importance of vaccination amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and encourage more members of the community to get vaccinated, especially those who are at a higher risk of developing influenza complications.

“Our main objective is to decrease the burden of influenza and its complications, especially this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our main objective is to decrease the burden of influenza and its complications, especially this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

- Dr Hend Al Awadhi, Head of Health Promotion & Education Section, DHA

“We plan to target most government entities in Dubai. So far we have scheduled 26 entities and are aiming to vaccinate 24,113 employees. We will extend the vaccination drive if needed,” said Dr Al Awadhi.

The vaccination fee is Dh50 for expats and free of charge for Emirati nationals and residents who are from high-risk groups, which includes: people who are 65 and above, children below five, pregnant women and people of determination.

Dr Abdullah Al Rassasi, Head of Preventive Medicine Section at the DHA, said that in addition to vaccinating around 1,114 DHA employees, the DHA’s influenza roadshow has already visited the Public Prosecution - Dubai, Dubai Economy and the Executive Council of Dubai.

He added that the DHA team will also be visiting Dubai Customs, Al Bayan Newspaper, Dubai Statistics Centre, Dubai Civil Defence and General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs.

Influenza vaccination services at DHA facilities

To encourage all members of society to get vaccinated, DHA revealed earlier that it is providing seasonal influenza vaccination across its facilities.

DHA is offering vaccinations on an appointment basis in three DHA Medical Fitness Centres - Jumeirah Lake Towers, Uptown Mirdif and City Walk (Smart Salem Centre). The timings are Sunday to Thursday from 7am to 7:30pm.

Emiratis and residents can also book an appointment to get vaccinated across a number of DHA primary healthcare centres that include: Al Badaa, Al Lusaily, Al Mankhool, Al Safa, Nad Al Sheba, Zabeel, Mizhar and Twar primary healthcare centres are open Sunday to Thursday from 7:30am to 9:30pm.

Al Mamzar Health Centre, which caters to women and pregnant women only is also open from 7:30am to 9:30pm. Al Barsha and Nad Al Hamr 24/7 centres will only offer vaccination services between 7:30am to 9:30pm.Residents can book an appointment for influenza vaccination through the DHA app. For more information they can call the DHA toll-free number 800 342.

Vaccination services at private healthcare facilities

DHA issued a circular on October 27, 2020, regarding the pricing of flu vaccinations at private health facilities, setting the fee of the seasonal influenza vaccine in private health facilities in Dubai at a maximum of Dh100 inclusive of the related services.

This comes in line with the authority’s keenness to make the vaccine available to all members of the community in Dubai.

Importance of vaccination

Dr Al Awadhi stressed the importance of getting vaccinated as it is the most effective way to prevent influenza and its complications.

“Seasonal influenza, which is commonly known as the flu, is an acute viral infection that spreads easily from person-to-person.

“Therefore, in addition to getting vaccinated, the best way to prevent it is to avoid close contact with sick people, cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes or mouth.”

Al Awadhi also added that getting a seasonal influenza vaccine (flu shot) is also safe for pregnant women and has many benefits, including preventing influenza and pregnancy complications, decreasing pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalised by an average of 40 per cent and preventing potential problems that affect the health of the fetus.