Abu Dhabi Public Health Center Urges Citizens and Residents in Abu Dhabi to Take the Flu Vaccine
6 Nov, 2019: The Abu Dhabi Public Health Center which follows the Department of Health Abu Dhabi urges the citizens and residents in Abu Dhabi to take the seasonal influenza vaccine available free of charge at healthcare facilities under Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA) stressing that the body needs up to two weeks to develop immunity.
ADPHC explains that some groups are considered at higher risks of developing complications such as children below five years, pregnant women, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions or weak immunity.
ADPHC sheds light on some other preventable measures that can be done to reduce the spread of flu viruses. These include covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing to reduce the spread of flu viruses, regular hand washing with water and soap, and sanitation, as well as cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs that cause flu.
ADPHC demonstrates the importance of taking the flu vaccine annually as it contributes in reducing the chances of catching the flu and infecting others, as every flu season is different, and many people can be infected.
During the previous flu season 2018-2019, around 350,000 people were vaccinated (double the previous season) from different age groups in healthcare facilities as well as in vaccination campaigns carried out by the Department of Health under the slogan "stop the spread" in collaboration with SEHA in workplaces and shopping malls.
Dr. Farida Al Hosani, Manager of Communicable Disease Department at ADPHC said "Several measures are being taken by Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre to reduce the burden of influenza infection in the community. To that end, we ensure that the vaccine is available at earliest possible, implement different activities to educate and raise awareness among public and healthcare workers. We also have an electronic notification system for infectious diseases, including influenza. This system allows tracking the cases and making the appropriate intervention."
Dr. AlHosani said "We urge people from the age of six months and above to take seasonal influenza vaccine. It is important to take the vaccine as soon as possible, as the body needs up to two weeks to develop immunity. Statistics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi showed that the highest number of cases occurred in November and it remain high until April."
Seasonal influenza (flu) is a highly contagious disease. It spreads when inhaling droplets made by infected persons when they cough, sneeze, or talk. The flu virus can also be caught from touching a surface or object contaminated with the virus, and then touching mouth, nose or eyes.
The law of establishing Abu Dhabi Public Health Center No. (14) for the year 2019 was issued by his Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The law aims to issue a public health system that leads to the maintenance of the health of the population of the Emirate and ensure workers' safety through the promotion of public health and preventive health concepts. It specializes in collecting evidence and data on cases of serious occupational injuries and accidents in coordination with the concerned authorities to determine their causes and reduce their risks, registering technical service providers and specialists in all areas of public health and preventive health licensed by the Department. Furthermore, ensuring the review and adoption of the regulations of the entities operating in the Emirate, in accordance with the requirements of the system.