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Swine flu shots to be free of charge in UAE

posted on 11/10/2009: 1811 views

The 2009 H1N1 vaccine will be available at more than 200 primary health care centres across the UAE, Gulf News has learnt.

The H1N1 flu vaccine, which is being offered free of charge, will be available to all UAE residents by the end of October. However, due to a high demand for the vaccine across the world, manufacturing companies are facing a problem of shortages.

The Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices (ACIP) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have defined five target groups that will receive priority of immunisation against the virus.

These are, namely, pregnant women; household care-givers of children younger than six months; health-care and emergency medical personnel; people whose ages range from six months to 24 years; and those aged between 25 and 64 who have medical conditions associated with a higher risk of influenza complications.

"While taking the H1N1 shot at a primary health care centre, the health ministry advises that two nurses be present — one to give the shot and the other to monitor the patient," a senior official from the Ministry of Health (MoH) advised.

Pregnant women

The seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines can be administered through a shot or nasal spray. Pregnant women should get the flu shot and not the nasal spray.

The vaccine is made from a live and weakened flu virus. Nasal spray vaccines should be used by healthy people between two to 49 years of age. The nasal spray vaccine is safe for women after they have delivered, even if they are still nursing.

The CDC advises pregnant women to receive both the 2009 H1N1 flu shot and the seasonal flu shot. – Gulf News


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