At the launch, Dr Farida Al Hosani, manager of Communicable Diseases at the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi, stressed the importance of getting vaccination against meningitis, seasonal flu and pneumonia, at least two weeks before travelling to provide immunity and maximum protection against the diseases.
The list of mandatory vaccines for 2012 includes quadruple meningococcal vaccine, which protects against meningitis, and the seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine.
In addition, it is advisable to take pneumococcal vaccine which protects against pneumococcal diseases for adults with high risk of getting the disease. This includes adults aged 65 years and above.
Younger adults who have chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases (except high blood pressure), lung diseases (including asthma), liver diseases, and kidney diseases; people with damaged spleen or removed spleen; and people with weakened immune system, are advised to take the vaccines.
Dr Al Hosani also recommended visiting the doctor four to six weeks in advance to know if a person needs to take additional doses.
There are 37 healthcare facilities and hospitals offering the vaccines for free for haj pilgrims: 16 in Abu Dhabi and the Middle Region, 14 in the Eastern Region and seven in the Western Region. — email@example.com
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