The Flu vaccine is here, Do I need to take it?

Our recommendation is Yes! Protect yourself and the people around you from getting the flu.

This time of the year in the UAE brings the onset of the flu season. As travel restrictions are relaxed and venues open up, post Covid restrictions, so do the gateways for transmission of the seasonal flu. Schools are open, capacity of events and venues are increased, many international visitors are expected for the Expo2020 so the chances of catching the seasonal flu are much higher than last year when movement was pretty restricted.

Here is what you need to know when considering the vaccine:

When is the Flu Season in the UAE?

The risk of catching Flu virus is greatest during October – March.
Therefore, its recommended to try to take the Flu vaccine before winter by September – October. The vaccine can still be beneficial even if given later in the season.

Why should I get vaccinated against Flu?

Flu is caused by the influenza virus. There are multiple types of influenza viruses, but the types that cause most flu related illnesses are Types A and B. These viruses constantly mutate, therefore the dominant strain of one year may not be the dominant strain of the next year. We therefore advise to take a new influenza vaccine each year for protection against the current common strains and also because our immunity from previous infection or previous flu vaccination may have declined over time.

Being vaccinated with the flu vaccine protects you by allowing your body to produce antibodies against the flu virus. This way reducing your chances of becoming infected with the Flu virus and reducing the severity of infection if you do contract it.

The Flu is highly contagious and can spread quickly from person to person.
The most common symptoms of flu are fever, sore throat, dry cough, body aches and tiredness. However, the Flu virus can cause severe illness that can lead to hospitalisation, such as a viral pneumonia, it can cause underlying medical conditions such as heart and lung disease to get worse and can lead to secondary bacterial infections.

Which Flu vaccine is available at Apex Clinic?

The flu vaccine administered at Apex medical center is the Influvac Tetra 2021/2021. This vaccine will provide protection against four strains of the Flu virus. It contains inactive, noninfectious particles of the virus. The vaccine alerts the immune system causing the body to produce antibodies. When your body comes into contact with the Flu virus these antibodies are able to give you protection against the disease.

Can I take the Flu Vaccine and the Covid-19 vaccine?

Yes, it is safe to take both the flu vaccine and the Covid-19 vaccine. However, they should be taken at least 2 weeks apart.

What age is the flu vaccine recommended for?

An annual influenza vaccine is recommended for anyone over the age of 6 months old.
It is also safe and recommended for children below 5 years, pregnant women, healthcare workers, senior citizens and also for people with chronic diseases and high risk health conditions. Always talk to your doctor during your consultation if you have any concerns

Who should not get the Flu vaccine?

Anyone with previous allergies to influenza vaccines or their components. The inactive vaccine is made in chicken eggs. Therefore, anyone with anaphylaxis to eggs, chicken protein or neomycin should not be offered the vaccine.

As well as anyone with a history of Guillian-Barre syndrome after previous influenza vaccines. Speak to your medical advisor before taking the vaccine

How long does the flu vaccine take to work, when can I expect immunity?
The vaccine can take approximately 2-3 weeks to start working. So schedule appointments as early as possible.

Information sources : , Dr. Yolande Iyer , Apex Clinic FAQ’s