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Over 24,000 Dubai government staff to get flu shots

reporters@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 31, 2020
Supplied photos

Residents can book an appointment for influenza vaccination through the DHA app.

More than 24,000 employees of 26 government entities in Dubai will be provided seasonal flu shots under an influenza roadshow launched by the Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA).

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, said Dr Hend Al Awadhi, head of health promotion & education section at the public health protection department, DHA.

“We plan to target most government entities in Dubai. So far, we have scheduled 26 entities and are targeting to vaccinate 24,113 employees,” said Dr Al Awadhi.

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

Shot significance

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 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 added that getting a seasonal 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 hospitalized by an average of 40 per cent and preventing potential problems that affect the health of the foetus.

Services at DHA facilities

The authority is offering vaccinations on appointment basis in three DHA Medical Fitness Centres and a number of DHA Primary Healthcare Centres. Residents can book an appointment for influenza vaccination through the DHA app.

Cap on cost

The DHA had issued a circular in October regarding the cost of flu vaccination at private health facilities. It set the fee of the seasonal influenza shot 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.

- Free of charge for:

o Emiratis

o Elders above 65-years

o Children under five-years

o People of Determination

o Pregnant women

- Dh50 for Dubai expats who are not from the above category

Signs and symptoms

o Fever

o Aching muscles

o Chills and sweats

o Headache

o Dry, persistent cough

o Shortness of breath

o Tiredness and weakness

o Runny or stuffy nose

o Sore throat

o Eye pain

o Vomiting and diarrhea, but this is more common in children than adult

reporters@khaleejtimes.com

Staff Reporter





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