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Get the vaccine, not the flu

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With the flu season at its peak and the ongoing pandemic, it’s become beyond imperative to get yourself vaccinated. We know you’ve been hearing and reading all about the flu vaccine but the following step by step rundown of the same is what you need to finally make that call!

How does common cold differ from flu?

While the flu and common cold share similar symptoms, the latter is far less severe with barely any potential long term complications. Of course, the severity of the illness differs by person but in most cases, flu requires a longer recovery time. Some of the common symptoms include sneezing, stuffy nose and fatigue but only in the case of a flu it may lead to more pressing symptoms such as ear infections, pneumonia or rhinitis/sinusitis.

How does flu present in young children?

The pattern, however, varies in children. More often than not, the most distinguishing feature is how quickly the symptoms develop rather than the severity. Kids tend to be more resilient so they’re able to fight it off better than adults but flu symptoms in children appear quickly and may be accompanied by an upset tummy or even vomiting in some cases. Additionally, flu tends to be a lot more contagious than common cold making it crucial that your little one takes a break from school, gets plenty of rest and hydration in bed.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Despite its recurrence and severity, flu is one of the easiest conditions to manage – all it takes is an annual vaccine! The vaccine not only protects you but overall helps in building what is known as herd immunity – a large immunized population immune to a specific disease, which will consequently not be able to further spread the disease.

What can you do to protect yourself in UAE?

The flu vaccine is part of the public health campaign, ‘Protect yourself. Protect your community’, launched by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre.

Who can get the jab in UAE?

  • Everyone above 6 months of age.
  • All healthcare workers
  • Pregnant women
  • Hajj and Umra pilgrims
  • Smokers
  • People aged 65 years and above
  • People with high risk conditions

The drive-through experience

The Nurturey PinkBook app has the listing of the SEHA hospitals you can visit, the hospitals offering drive-through vaccinations, booking home immunisations and more. You can call SEHA via the app to book your appointment. From what we know first hand, only few facilities have a drive through option but the process is extremely organised.

All you have to do is show up at your designated time with a valid Emirates ID, preferably in loose clothing. You’ll be handed a flu questionnaire while you’re waiting in line to ensure it is safe for you to get the jab.

Your vitals (blood pressure and temperature) are recorded just before the jab. Once you’ve got the jab, you’ll be asked to stay back for 15-30mins in a designated parking lot as a precautionary measure after which you’re free to leave.

To summarize, we can’t stress enough the importance of getting yourself and your family vaccinated. The vaccines are safe, have been tested for decades and will do nothing but good for you, particularly, amidst a pandemic. It’s time to go get the vaccine and not the flu!

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About Author

Anisha Sodhi is a General Physician with a Bachelors Degree in Medicine and Surgery (MBBS). Her main takeaway from the degree was how important communication is as people tend to get easily overwhelmed and confused while visiting doctors. Joining Team Nurturey gave her the chance to do exactly that because nobody requires as much reassurance and support as parents to be or parents.

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