Kuwait: Arrival of 55,000 flu shots – but only for Kuwaitis
Kuwait’s Ministry of Health received 55,000 additional influenza vaccines on Tuesday, after it was determined that there was a shortage of vaccines. The vaccines were distributed across several preventive centres, governmental clinics, in Kuwait and are allocated for Kuwaitis only.
A source told Al Qabas that the current batch of vaccines are limited to Kuwaitis, while the second batch will be available to medical personnel, the elderly and those suffering from chronic illnesses. To strengthen the community’s immunity and vaccinate as many people as possible, the third batch of vaccines will be provided to expats.
In addition, the source stated that the ministry is working to vaccinate the largest number of the country’s population to reduce pressure on the healthcare system as there can be an overlap between flu symptoms and COVID-19. This year, more than in previous years, it is being seen as necessary to take the flu vaccine as it will reduce the load on the health sector, avoid confusion between symptoms and limit the pressure on COVID-19 testing facilities, the source pointed out.
At the moment, the flu shot is only available at a few private hospitals and medical centres, as the priority is being given to governmental centres. The shortage of vaccines is due to an increase in global demand for flu shots.
Many studies and scientists have pointed out that the flu vaccine protects people from the seasonal influenza, not COVID-19, and it is imperative that one avoids getting the flu especially this winter. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended taking the flu vaccine as it reduces chances of catching a severe respiratory infection.
According to the Centre for Disease Prevention (CDC), it is possible to have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. In addition, they both share similar symptoms that can make it hard to tell the difference between the two diseases solely based on the symptoms.