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Tuesday , August 16 2022

Flu vaccination for expats postponed

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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 27: The Ministry of Health received 55,000 doses of flu vaccine yesterday after a shortage of flu vaccines were reported. 
11,000 Influenza vaccines were distributed to the preventive centers in the health areas in each area and another batch of vaccines would be received in a short period (early next year) after there was a step rise in booking for vaccination by Kuwaiti citizens.

The sources stated that the current phase is the first in these vaccinations, and the second phase will target medical staff, nursing bodies, risk factors, the elderly, and those suffering from chronic non-communicable diseases. 
The ministry is working to vaccinate as much as possible to avoid infection with influenza and the virus. Also to reduce the symptoms caused by infection with “Corona” among those who receive winter vaccinations.

Vaccination for Expats 
With an aim to strengthen the immunity of the community the ministry is planning in third phase to vaccinate expats after the arrival of more doses of vaccines by pre-booking appointments.

Pneumococcal vaccine is currently being given for children from 6 months to 16 years, who have never been vaccinated before according to the children’s vaccination program, in addition the vaccine is given to individuals from the age of 16 years and over, and to those who are most exposed to health risks who have not been vaccinated before.

The sources said that it is necessary to vaccinate against seasonal influenza mainly to reduce the burden on the health sector as the symptoms are very similar to the infection from corona virus (Covid-19), with a slight difference that may be the loss of the sense of smell.

There has been great pressure on medical staff since the beginning of corona crisis. The health centers continue to receive citizens who wish to take influenza vaccine hence it is an important health awareness campaign to protect citizens immunity.

Vaccines not available in Private Hospitals / Clinics
The sources stated that  seasonal influenza vaccines and pneumonia are not yet available in the majority of private hospitals and medical centers. These hospitals are still waiting for vaccine doses to arrive so that they can be available for Kuwaiti citizens and expats alike. There is no specific date for vaccines to arrive as the companies who produce these vaccines are facing many obstacles due to high demand from all countries of the world.

The WHO recommends taking the influenza vaccine to reduce the possibility of severe respiratory infection, reports Al Qabas.  The infection with influenza and some other respiratory viruses contribute to the weakness in the human body and reduce its immunity, which makes it vulnerable to infections. Influenza and “Covid-19” leads to death in severe cases.  

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