The Flu Shot – Your Best Defence

Posted on Healthcare By DoctorUna - Published on 2019-01-07

 Image courtesy of [Photo by nenetus.] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Flu Vaccination Benefits | Flu Vaccination and Pregnancy | Flu Vaccination and Breast Feeding | Flu Vaccination and Babies | Flu Vaccination and Egg Allergy | Flu Vaccine Side Effects | FAQs

Are you wary of the seasonal flu that hits the Middle East every year? Doctors urge UAE citizens and residents to go for the flu vaccine shots as a precautionary measure. Flu, also known as Influenza in medical terms, is an infectious disease that can eventually lead to severe health complications, hospitalization or even death if left untreated. It is caused by the influenza virus and the common symptoms include sore throat, high fever, cold, cough, severe headache, muscular pain and feeling of tiredness.

Millions of people in the world are hospitalized and even die due to influenza or flu-related cases every year. Medical experts suggest that a seasonal flu vaccine can be the most ideal solution to protect people against flu and associated medical complications. You can make an appointment with a UAE clinic or local doctor for flu vaccination in UAE.

  • Flu Vaccination Benefits
  • A flu vaccine shot prevents flu-related illnesses

Flu vaccination can keep the flu virus at bay. It prevents the onslaught of flu-related diseases and reduces your doctor visits. Millions of people are saved every year from influenza diseases, medical visits, and hospitalization.

  • Reduces risk of influenza-associated hospitalization for kids, adults, and elderly people

Flu vaccination has helped prevent flu-related hospitalization. According to reports of a study done in the year 2016-2017, the flu vaccine had prevented almost 80,000 to 85,000 hospitalizations for treating flu-related cases. Medical practitioners feel that flu-associated visits to hospitals and clinics have dropped dramatically in recent years.

  • Flu vaccine is an unavoidable preventive method for chronically ill patients

People suffering from chronic health conditions like diabetes, asthma, lungs, and heart diseases have been immensely benefited by getting yearly flu vaccine shots. According to a Cochrane Review study, the evidence collected showed that asthmatic patients posed a higher health risk if they contracted influenza. The spread of flu could be contained and prevented by flu vaccination.  

  • Flu Vaccination and Pregnancy

Flu vaccination should be taken by pregnant women for a number of reasons. Firstly, it reduces the risk of contracting the flu infection and other respiratory infections. A vaccinated pregnant woman indirectly protects her baby by passing antibodies during pregnancy.

  • Flu Vaccination and Breast Feeding

Breastfeeding mothers can be given flu shot or even a nasal spray (flu vaccine) without any risk to the mother or the baby. There is only positive health benefit as it reduces any chance of mother or baby catching the flu even after being exposed to the flu virus.

  • Flu Vaccination and Babies

The flu vaccine can be safely administered in six months babies and older. It protects the babies from the flu and its varied complications. Flu shots are usually given twice a year (next shot after a gap of 4 weeks) for infants and kids under nine years of age.

  • Flu Vaccination and Egg Allergy

People who suffer from an allergic reaction to eggs should be vaccinated only under the supervision of a professional healthcare expert, who has the adequate knowledge to recognize or manage any side-effects after the immunization.

  • Flu Vaccine Side Effects

Flu vaccination side effects may be mild and short-term. Some of the minor side effects are:

  • Swelling or redness in the specific area where the flu shot was given
  • Low-grade mild fever
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Runny nose after being administered with nasal spray vaccine
  • Sore throat (nasal spray effect)
  • Cough (nasal spray effect)

However, not to worry! These issues are short-lived and people who have received the influenza vaccine have had no major health issues after getting vaccinated. Rarely, people have experienced strong allergic reactions after the flu shot. In such adverse cases, one can indeed file a compensation claim from their respective health insurance companies.


  1. When should you get a flu shot 2018 – 2019?

Ideally, you should get a flu vaccine shot whenever possible throughout the winter flu season. You can take your shot in early November or even in the months of January or February 2019.

  1. Are you contagious after a flu shot?

It generally takes one to two weeks for the vaccination to start developing. So, adults and children do remain contagious or prone to the flu-virus for 10 to 14 days. In between these days, if they are detected with flu, they remain contagious for 5 to 10 days. People with very low immune system can spread the flu infection for weeks or months after they contract it.

  1. What are the side effects of this year's flu shot?

According to medical experts at the 'Centers for Disease Control and Prevention' (CDC), influenza vaccine 2019 may have some minor side-effects such as redness or soreness around the injected area, aches, and mild fever. It is also a relief to know that only one or two percent out of the vaccinated people may suffer from mild fever.

  1. Is the 2018 flu shot effective?

2018 flu vaccine was improved by replacement of the strains with targeted better matches. The 2018 flu vaccine is more effective than last years vaccination.

  1. How long does the flu shot last?

It usually takes two weeks after the flu shot for the antibodies to develop and provide good protection to the body against the deadly influenza virus infection. The vaccine protects against flu all throughout the flu season.

  1. What does the flu vaccination UAE cost?

The flu vaccination cost in UAE is approximately 50 Dhs.

  1. Reasons not to get the flu shot?

Flu shot should not be administered to small infants under 6 months age, people with history of severe egg allergy, person with a history of 'Guillian Barre Syndrome' within just 5 to 6 weeks of getting the flu shot and anyone with a high grade fever or any other major illness at the time of getting vaccinated.

Good News for UAE residents! Emiratis and expatriates in Abu Dhabi and many other places in UAE can now avail free flu vaccinations Abu Dhabi SEHA when you visit any of the primary healthcare clinics owned by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA).

For flu vaccination appointment UAE, you may also refer to popular online services in the Middle East.


About Author


DoctorUna.com launched in the United Arab Emirates in 2012, Egypt and Jordan in 2013 and recently in Kuwait in 2014. The purpose of DoctorUna is to allow patients to quickly search for doctors from across a broad range of specialties, compare them and easily book a convenient appointment. DoctorUna gives doctors access to a larger pool of patients, streamlines and better manages their appointment booking process so they can spend more time caring for patients.

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