DUBAI The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has announced that the seasonal influenza vaccine is available at hospitals and primary health care centres. The vaccine will be provided until next March. It is part of MoHAP’s efforts to protect individuals from communicable diseases, raise rates of vaccine coverage and reduce the medical, social and economic burden of seasonal influenza.

Dr Hussein Abdel Rahman Al-Rand, undersecretary in 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. Accordingly, MoHAP recommends getting the seasonal influenza vaccine for individuals and health workers.”

Al-Rand urged all the targeted groups to visit the nearest health centre or hospital and get the vaccine, including those who are experiencing inherited and acquired immunodeficiencies, such as people with HIV or those taking immunosuppressive drugs.

Who should get a flu vaccine?

Dr Nada Al Marzouqi, director of MoHAP’s Preventive Medicine Department, said: “Seasonal influenza is a viral infection that spreads easily between humans, ranging from mild to severe. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with some chronic diseases are the most vulnerable to complications.”

Al Marzouqi stressed the importance of getting the influenza vaccine as the best method of prevention from the age of six months.

She highlighted the importance of getting a seasonal influenza vaccine once a year. For children under nine years of age, they need another dose. The interval between the two doses should be four weeks or more.

It is recommended that the vaccination is not taken by people with severe allergic reactions to eggs, and those suffering from acute disease accompanied by fever or an excessive sensitivity before getting the seasonal flu vaccine unless medical advice is obtained.