Doctors in the United Arab Emirates: get your children vaccinated against the flu before winter

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Pediatricians urge parents to get their children vaccinated against the flu as soon as possible, ideally before winter.

Doctors see the maximum number of infections between August and February – a time widely considered “flu season.”

As schools in Dubai are set to resume in-person learning from October 3, parents are expressing concern for their children’s health.

But the doctors said Khaleej weather that getting the flu shot is one way to protect children, especially because the pandemic has yet to recede. Additionally, the symptoms of Covid-19 and the flu are so similar that the infection can be confusing.

Vaccines are a small, inactive part of the virus that is injected into the body. This stimulates the body’s immune system, producing antibodies specific to the flu, the doctors said.

If individuals come across the real virus, the body already has antibodies, which protect them from full infection or may pass for a mild infection.

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Dr Manjunath M Nagalli, specialist pediatrician at Burjeel Specialist Hospital in Sharjah, said: “All children over six months of age can get the flu shot to protect themselves from the flu. It is ideal for children to receive the jab in September or October, that is, before the start of the winter season. “

“With the reopening of schools, it is crucial that parents make sure their child is immunized. Otherwise, there is a chance that the child will pass the disease on to other children in the class. “

Doctors stressed that the flu shot does not cause any long-term reaction. However, some may experience a mild fever, redness, or pain at the injection site.

Dr Shahid Gauhar, a specialist pediatrician and neonatologist at Prime Hospital, said any vaccine can be taken between an interval of six weeks.

“Any child who has received the Covid-19 vaccine can receive the flu shot after an interval of six weeks,” he said.

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Dr Gauhar added that children infected with the flu virus are also more susceptible to other infections.

“The child’s immunity is suppressed and he becomes vulnerable to secondary infections. They can even catch Covid-19, ”he said.

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Dr Gouli Chandrasekhar, a specialist pediatrician at Aster Clinic, Abu Shagara, said the best way to reduce the risk of flu and associated complications is to get vaccinated every year.

“Children who are allergic to eggs and have had a reaction to previous flu shots are advised not to get the flu shot,” he said.

The vaccine also cannot be given to children under six months of age. But if mothers get vaccinated when they are pregnant, they can pass the antibodies to their child and protect it, said Dr Shoaib Shahzad Khan, head of the department of pediatrics and neonatology at the Canadian Specialized Hospital.

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“Children under five are the most vulnerable to complications from the flu virus. Most people usually recover within a few days or two weeks after being infected, ”he said.

“However, it can become very serious in some people if left untreated. It can progress to more serious health problems, such as infections of the lungs, ears, sinuses and overall worsening of the problems. chronic health conditions. For some people it can even be life threatening. “

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Nandini Sircar