The Department of Health, DoH, is urging all citizens and residents to take the seasonal flu vaccine. The department is directing all UAE nationals and residents to all healthcare clinics under the Ambulatory Health Services, SEHA, to be vaccinated for free.
Dr. Farida Al Hosani, Director of Communicable Diseases Department at DoH, said, "This is part of our drive to protect people's health. We urge all residents to take the flu vaccine to protect their health and to stop the spread of this infectious disease."
The healthcare sector regulator explained that the flu vaccination is available for all, with priority given to groups at high risk including the elderly, those with chronic diseases, pregnant women and children under five, as well as people working in healthcare.
According to DoH statistics, more than 150,000 people took the vaccine in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during 2016 – 2017 flu season.
The seasonal influenza vaccine protects against common viruses that cause the flu. The yearly updated vaccine includes the three common viruses causing the flu each year. This year, the seasonal influenza vaccine protects against H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B viruses.
The DoH also stressed the importance of personal hygiene habits in reducing the spread of infectious diseases in the community. This includes covering the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, washing hands and using sanitizers regularly, getting rid of used tissue paper, and avoiding direct contact with sick individuals.