Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 223-230

The Saudi Thoracic Society guidelines for influenza vaccinations

1 Department of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Pediatrics, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
5 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mohammed O Zeitouni
Department of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.167065

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Influenza viruses are responsible for the influenza outbreaks that lead to significant burden and cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Based on the core proteins, influenza viruses are classified into three types, A, B, and C, of which only A and B cause significant human disease and so the vaccine is directed against these two subtypes only. The effectiveness of the vaccine depends on boosting the immune system against the serotypes included within it. As influenza viruses undergo periodic changes in their antigen, the vaccine is modified annually to ensure susceptibility. In contrast to other countries, Saudi Arabia faces a unique and challenging situation due to Hajj and Umrah seasons, when millions of people gather at the holy places in Mecca and Madinah, during which influenza outbreaks are commonly found. Such challenges making the adoption of strict vaccination strategy in Saudi Arabia is of great importance. All efforts were made to develop this guideline in an easy-to-read form, making it very handy and easy to use by health care workers. The guideline was designed to provide recommendations for problems frequently encountered in real life, with special consideration for special situations such as Hajj and Umrah seasons and pregnancy.

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