Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, a subsidiary of the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, has launched its annual awareness campaign for seasonal influenza. The launch is part of its campaign to promote vaccination and infection prevention under the slogan Stop the Spread, aimed at raising awareness about the importance of preventive vaccinations and their vital role in improving community health.

Through this programme, the centre aims to educate about the importance of choosing influenza vaccination for prevention, identifying affected cases and analysing the viral pattern of the disease. This contributes to identifying main strains and taking appropriate preventive measures. The programme reflects the emirate's efforts to provide suitable vaccinations for citizens and residents, enhance effective health prevention and combat infectious diseases.

Her Excellency Dr. Farida Al Hosany, The Executive Director of the Infectious Diseases Sector at Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, said: “This programme aims to provide the community with the necessary knowledge and culture to maintain public health and raise awareness about correct practices that prevent infection. The seasonal influenza programme is a significant addition to the efforts of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre in the field of awareness and preventive healthcare. The centre is committed to collaborating with strategic partners to reduce potential complications related to infectious diseases by emphasising the importance of preventive measures, especially as we approach the influenza season.

“The centre hopes to enhance vaccination and prevention levels throughout the community, protecting vulnerable people and contributing to public health and general wellbeing in the emirates.”

Everyone aged 6 months and above is eligible to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine for free. The vaccine is highly recommended especially among high-risk individuals more susceptible to the disease such as healthcare workers, children younger than 5 years, school-aged children aged between 5-18 years, pregnant women, adults aged 65 years old and above, people with chronic conditions, Hajj and Umra pilgrims as well as smokers.

Currently, the flu vaccination is available at 111 health centres including 15 pharmacies, aiming to facilitate the patient experience and provide easy access to the best therapeutic and preventative healthcare services.

Recognised as one of the most effective methods of preventing seasonal influenza, vaccines protect against common types of influenza viruses and their components are updated annually to ensure their ability to provide the necessary immunity.

The Stop the Spread programme includes three more upcoming awareness campaigns for vaccination, foodborne illnesses and antimicrobials, providing the general public with the knowledge and motivation to make informed decisions on the benefits of preventative care and be part of the drive to protect society.