DHA to provide flu vaccine to 24,000 Dubai government employees

Supplied: DHA

The DHA is launching an influenza roadshow where it will be visiting 26 government entities in Dubai, with the aim of vaccinating more than 24,000 employees.

Dr Hend Al Awadhi, Head of Health Promotion & Education Section at the Public Health Protection Department, DHA, said 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, especially those who are at a higher risk of developing influenza complications.

“Our main objective is to decrease the burden of influenza and its complication especially this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We plan on targeting most government entities in Dubai, so far we scheduled 26 entities and are targeting to vaccinate 24,113 employees. This is subject to increasing if needed,” said Dr Al Awadhi.

The vaccination is free for Emirati nationals and those from high-risk groups: people aged above 65-years; children under five; people of determination; and pregnant women. 

It costs AED50 for Dubai expats who are not from one of the categories above.

Dr Abdullah Al Rassasi, Head of Preventive Medicine Section at the DHA said that in addition to vaccinating around 1,114 DHA employees, the DHA’s team has already visited departments including Public Prosecution-Dubai, Dubai Economy and the Executive Council of Dubai.

He added that the roadshow will also be visiting Dubai Customs, Al Bayan Newspaper, Dubai Statistics Centre, Dubai Civil Defence and General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs, and others.

DHA is offering vaccinations on appointment basis in three DHA Medical Fitness Centres in Jumeirah Lake Towers, Uptown Mirdif and City Walk (Smart Salem Centre) from Sunday to Thursday from 7:00am to 7:30pm.

Emiratis and residents can also book an appointment to get vaccinated across a number of DHA Primary Healthcare Centres that include:

Al Badaa, Al Lusaily, Al Mankhool, Al Safa, Nad Al Sheba, Zabeel, Mizhar and Twar primary health care centres are open Sunday to Thursday from 7:30am to 9:30pm.

Al Mamzar Health Centre, which caters to women and pregnant women only is also open from 7:30am to 9:30pm. Al Barsha and Nad Al Hamr 24/7 centres will only offer vaccination services between 7:30am to 9:30pm.

Residents can book an appointment for influenza vaccination through the DHA APP. For more information they can call the DHA toll-free number 800 342.

Vaccination services at Private health care facilities
The DHA has also issued a circular limiting the price of flu vaccination at private health facilities to a maximum of AED100, inclusive of the related services.

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 the 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 also added that getting a seasonal influenza vaccine (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% and preventing potential problems that affect the health of the fetus, to name a few.

Common signs and symptoms of seasonal influenza:

  • Fever
  • Aching muscles
  • Chills and sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Eye pain
  • Vomiting and diarrhea, but this is more common in children than adults

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