Flu vaccine: Who needs it, who should not and who should take precautions
Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk for serious complications from influenza.
The flu vaccine is currently in short supply while the demand remains high after doctors report an unusual increase in the number of flu cases this winter season.
In October this year, a nine-year-old Indian schoolgirl died showing flu-related complications for over a week while another 17-year-old Dubai student also died of flu-related complications.
A number of people said that the vaccine was unavailable in most medical centres and pharmacies in Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates. While some centres said it could be available in a couple of weeks, others said they did not know when the supply would come in. However, medical centres in Abu Dhabi said that vaccines had been ordered well in advance to meet the huge expected demand.
Who needs the vaccine?
All persons aged six months and older are recommended for annual vaccination, with rare exceptions. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk for serious complications from influenza.
People who can get the flu shot:
Different flu shots are approved for people of different ages. Everyone should get a vaccine that is appropriate for their age.
Some vaccines are only approved for adults. For example, the recombinant influenza vaccine is for people aged 18 years and older, and the adjuvanted and high-dose inactivated vaccines are for people aged 65 years and older. Flu shots are recommended for pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions.
People who should not get the flu shot:
>Children younger than six months of age are too young to get a flu shot.
>People with severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine
Source: US Centres for Disease Control and Protection
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