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Flu shot crucial for kids this Covid-19 year: UAE doctors

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Every child in the country above the age of six should get vaccinated for influenza, doctors in the UAE have reiterated.

This comes on the back of a new study by Dubai Health Authority (DHA), which stated that half of influenza patients in Dubai were younger than 10 years old.

Dr Jamuna Raghuraman, peadiatrician at Medeor Hospital, said: “We have a very safe and successful vaccination programme in the nation. It is very helpful and protects children from flu. Unlike in the past years, we are fighting a pandemic now. Flu vaccination is crucial against this backdrop. Vaccination is the best way to protect children from influenza.”

In private health centres, clinics and hospitals, the cost of the vaccine varies. It may start from Dh50. At Medeor Hospital it’s priced at Dh99 for both children and adults. The cost also depend on consultation and injection charges.

Fear of Covid-19 continues to bother parents as they remain confused whenever they see symptoms such as cough, cold, fever and sore throat.

Dr Prabhakar Patil, paediatrician at Medcare Women and Children Hospital, pointed out: “As kids go to school, there will be increased interaction with other people even though educational institutions are taking a lot of precautions. Therefore, it’s advisable to take the flu vaccine. It protects from both influenza A and B type of virus.”

“In vaccines, a small inactive part of the virus is injected in the body, which stimulates our immune system to produce flu specific antibodies. When we come across the real virus, our body already has the antibodies which protect us from getting infected or to get only a mild infection”, he added.

For children, the flu vaccination costs Dh49 at all Medcare Hospitals and Medcare Medical Centres and Dh79, including consultation for kids, at Aster Clinics.

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