UAE: Who can get free flu vaccines and where

Saman Haziq /Dubai Filed on September 20, 2021 | Last updated on September 20, 2021 at 11.33 pm
Photo by Saman Haziq

All others can take the jab for Dh50.

Starting this month, the UAE will be administering flu vaccines for free to all Emiratis and those at high risk of infection, officials of the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) announced on Monday.

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All others can get the jab at Dh50 across government health centres and private hospitals in the country.

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Among those considered part of the high-risk group are:

>> Pregnant women

>> Children under the age of five

>> Healthcare workers

>> Senior citizens above 60

>> Patients who have other co-morbidities, such as uncontrolled diabetes and heart disease

“We urge all to take the influenza vaccine as soon as possible as the season of the influenza is expected to begin now,” said Dr Farida Al Hosani, executive director of the infection diseases sector at the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre.

Even visitors to the UAE can take the vaccine at a private health centre for a nominal fee, said Dr Hussein Abdul Rahman Al-Rand, undersecretary of Mohap’s Health Assistant Sector, Health Centres, and Clinics.

Do not ignore respiratory symptoms

Asked what one should do if he or she experiences flu symtoms, Dr Farida Al Hosani said: “Anyone who has symptoms of flu — which are similar to that of Covid — should seek medical advice without delay. They should first isolate themselves and get a Covid test done to get a correct diagnosis. If the Covid test is negative, then they should get themselves tested for influenza.”

Flu complications can be life-threatening for some with weak immunity, she added. “Therefore, it is important for the community, especially the vulnerable groups, to take the flu vaccine. People just need to take one dose of flu vaccine every year.”

Saman Haziq

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