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Do I need to get the flu shot and why? By Dr. Medhat Abu-Shaaban, pediatrician at myPediaclinic in Dubai.

What you need to know about the 2016/2017 flu vaccine

The flu vaccine is now available at myPediaclinic. Dr. Medhat Abu-Shaaban, medical director and pediatrician at myPediaclinic (Voted best pediatric clinic in Dubai) discusses with us what is the flu and why take the vaccine each year in the following article.

What is the flu?

The flu is a contagious respiratory virus that circulates each year and is contagious. Infected people symptoms range from mild to severe such as hospitalization and death.

What are the signs and symptoms of flu infection?

  1. Fever
  2. Cough
  3. Sore throat
  4. Runny or stuffy nose
  5. Muscle or body aches
  6. Headaches
  7. Fatigue (very tired)
  8. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Who is at risk of getting the flu?

All people are at risk of getting the flu, however young children, older people, people with compromised immunity are at higher risk of getting the flu. Getting the flu can be extremely irritating especially for children with allergy, who may get post viral asthma following the flu.

When is the flu most common?

Between the months of October and May. This is why prevention should be started as early as September.

How can the flu be prevented?

Proper hygiene and avoiding people infected with the flu is important, however according to CDC getting the flu vaccine yearly is the best way to avoid the flu. This reduces flu illness and also missed school days, work days, and hospitalization.

Why does a different flu vaccine need to be given yearly?

Each year the flu vaccine is formulated to protect from the flu viruses expected to be circulating that year according to research. This year the flu vaccine will protect against 3-4 viruses.

What ages is the flu vaccine recommended for?

It is recommended for all people including children starting 6 months.

When should the flu vaccine be given?

It should be given during September and best given by the end of October because it takes the body 2 weeks to develop immunity against the vaccine.

Book an appointment today for the flu vaccine.

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