Aster Pharmacy offers in-store flu vaccinations for the first time in Dubai
In the initial stage, the programme will see the administering of flu vaccines, followed by the introduction of vaccines for other infectious diseases.
DUBAI – March 1, 2023: Aster Pharmacy, the retail arm of Aster DM Healthcare and a leading pharmacy chain in the GCC, today announced taking a pioneering step by offering in-store vaccinations at its outlets as part of its efforts to improve access to preventive measures and ensure wellness. This is the first time a pharmacy retail chain is initiating in-store flu vaccinations in Dubai.
The in-store vaccination programme launched on 1st March at Aster Pharmacy 200, located at Al Nahda 2, Dubai. The retail chain will offer flu vaccinations in the initial rollout phase, and more preventive vaccines against infectious diseases will be added later.
Commenting on the initiative, Mr. NS Balasubramanian, CEO of Aster Retail, said, “The UAE health regulatory authority has always been at the forefront of embracing new ways to reach out and improve public health. Aster pharmacy is grateful to the health authorities for licensing us to be able to administer vaccines and join forces in preventive health practices across the UAE. We are indeed proud to be the first pharmacy chain to provide vaccines at our stand-alone pharmacies in Dubai”.
“The registration process for getting the vaccination has been simplified and streamlined. Once the patient enters the facility and registers at the counter, he/she can have their vitals checked and proceed with the vaccination. We also accept walk-ins, which will make it more convenient for patients to avail the flu vaccination service in their neighbourhood, rather than going to a clinic or hospital. Our wide network of over 200+ pharmacies across the Emirates enables the community to be served better. This will help strengthen our patients’ immunity and improve public health at large,” he added.
Flu is a yearly phenomenon and has seen an increase in outbreaks in the last few years post the Covid pandemic. As per guidelines from Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tackling flu with preventive vaccination reduces its complexity and severity significantly and offers protection against common viruses. The vaccine is also updated annually to ensure continuous immunity.
“At present, the Aster vaccination programme will only cater to the adult population between the ages of 18-65. The vaccination is designed to protect against the strains of the flu virus and reduce the risk of hospitalization as recommended by healthcare professionals,” said Mr. Shiraz Khan, COO of Aster Retail.
Flu is generally prevalent in the UAE seasonally and the outbreak typically occurs between October and March every year. The UAE Government takes measures to monitor and control the spread of flu and the Aster in-store vaccination programme will support this.
Alongside the vaccination drive, Aster Pharmacy is also running awareness initiatives among the public on a range of hygiene practices such as the importance of hand washing, and covering coughs and sneezes.
About Aster DM Healthcare
Aster DM Healthcare Limited is one of the largest private healthcare service providers operating in GCC and in India. With an inherent emphasis on clinical excellence, we are one of the few entities in the world with a strong presence across primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary healthcare through our 30 hospitals, 125 clinics, 496* pharmacies, 20 labs and 157 patient experience centers in seven countries, including India. We have over 29,108 plus dedicated staff including 3,820 doctors and 8,299 nurses across the geographies that we are present in, delivering a simple yet strong promise to our different stakeholders: “We’ll treat you well.” We reach out to all economic segments in the GCC states through our differentiated healthcare services across the “Aster”, “Medcare” and “Access” brands.
*Including 239 Pharmacies in India operated by Alfaone Retail Pharmacies Private Limited under brand license from Aster.