Parents Urged to Get Their Children the Flu Jab
School staff, pregnant women, children and medics have been advised to get the flu jab, following a survey of 30,000 people by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) that showed almost half of the recorded cases of flu between 2017 and 2019 were in children under 10.
Parents have been urged to get their children vaccinated against seasonal flu as they are at a higher risk of contracting the infection.
“The aim of the study was to identify risk factors associated with the infection and identify the demographic distribution most vulnerable to the disease,” said Khalif Jallaf, director of the data and research department at DHA. More generally the study — entitled Trends, patterns and prevalence of influenza — was undertaken to assess the importance of getting vaccinated against the flu virus during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The data has been passed on to hospitals to help them deal with the dual threat of influenza and Covid-19 over the coming months.
The flu season runs from the end of September until February but infections peak in November and December. Seasonal influenza and Covid-19 have similar clinical manifestations.
Influenza affects more than 10 per cent of the total population annually, is highly contagious disease; spreads easily, with rapid transmission in crowded areas including schools and nursing homes. Rates of influenza have increased since 2017, said the study.
A flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses and, even if the vaccine doesn’t prevent you from getting the flu, may make the illness less serious should you get infected, and prevent inpatient hospitalisation.