The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), in collaboration with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) announced the launch of the annual seasonal influenza vaccination campaign starting today, 18 September. 

Flu vaccines will be available free of charge at 90 health facilities, including at 31 PHCC health centres in addition to outpatient clinics at HMC and several semi-government and private hospitals and clinics across Qatar.

Head of the Infectious Diseases Division at HMC, Dr Abdullatif al-Khal said it was important for people to be proactive and protect themselves against the flu as early as possible.

The circulating flu viruses change from year to year, according to Dr al-Khal, which is why it is so important that everyone receive the flu vaccine annually. He also said that we need to remember that flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalisation and sometimes, even death, and should never be underestimated.

Fighting the flu starts with each and every one of us – the vaccine is available at clinics across the country – government, private and semi-private – which makes it easier and more convenient than ever to receive the vaccine. I encourage everyone to get their free flu vaccine as soon as possible.

According to Health Protection and Communicable Disease Control Director Dr Hamad al-Romaihi, the flu is a serious illness and everyone – six months of age and older – should take the vaccine to protect themselves, especially as some groups are more vulnerable than others.

People of all ages and health conditions can catch the flu virus and become sick, but there are certain key population groups who are at increased risk of the virus.

These people are

  • Individuals 50 years and older
  • Those with chronic conditions regardless of their age
  • Children aged between six months and five years
  • Pregnant women
  • Healthcare workers (due to their close interaction with vulnerable patients and children)

PHCC Health Protection, Preventive Health Directorate Manager, Dr Khalid Hamid Elawad, is encouraging the community to take the flu vaccine as soon as possible to build immunity before the winter season hits in the coming months.

I urge all of you to take the flu vaccine as soon as possible because maximum protection against the flu takes up to two weeks to develop, so the sooner people get vaccinated, the sooner they will be protected.

Dr Elawad also reassured the community that they cannot get the flu from the flu shot. He said that the flu vaccine is one of the safest and most established vaccines. Hundreds of millions of people around the world have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines.

For more information about the flu, including where to get the vaccine, visit fighttheflu.qa


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