BY PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today, 17 Nov 2009
Hajj pilgrims from Abu Dhabi and Al Ain can get administered with the H1N1 vaccines at 11 healthcare centres across the region. The vaccinations are free of cost for all the pilgrims planned to move towards the Holy land in Saudi Arabia.
Launched by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, the vaccination will be available from Nov.17 until the end of the season at the facilities of Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS) and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), said senior health officials.
Clyde Eder, Operation Director at SEHA, said, "Eight AHS centres and three SKMC family medicine centres have been designated for the H1N1 vaccination in the region. The centres in Abu Dhabi include DPSC Abu Dhabi, Bain Al Jesraen, Khalifa (A) and Al Samha healthcare centres, and Al Mushrif, Al Baten and Al Khaleej family medicine centres."
"While, the swine flu vaccination will be available for Al Ain residents at DPSC Al Ain, Al Muwaiji, Al Mezyed and Al Maqam healthcare centres," he added.
Clyde urged all the pilgrims to visit the facilities to take both the compulsory vaccinations, which are offered free of cost.
According to him, the initiative is aimed at making procedures convenient for the Hajj pilgrims and also to ensure their good health right from starting the journey from the UAE to coming back.
"It will increase the reach of the H1N1 vaccination process for both local and expatriate pilgrims from the region," he added.
Dr Tej Maini, CEO of SKMC, pointed out, "Two vaccinations, one for H1N1 and another for Meningitis, are compulsory for the Hajj pilgrims. All the Hajj pilgrims are required to take these compulsorily at one time. It is preferable to take them both two weeks prior to travelling for Hajj so that they provide maximum strength and immunity for the body."
According to Dr Abdel Haddi Al Ahbabi, COO of AHS-SEHA, The H1N1 vaccinations for our Hajj pilgrims has already started on Monday, and it will continue until the conclusion of the Hajj period for this year. The vaccinations will be offered during the working hours of the respective authorised centres for H1N1 vaccine.
"As a note of precaution to all, if any flu-like symptoms appear, they should visit the healthcare facility consultant in the UAE or the Hajj medical representative in the Holy land. The pilgrims should provide the documents evidencing their upcoming visit for Hajj and a certificate will be issued to them for all the vaccinations taken for this season's Hajj," he explained.