Flu vaccine free of charge for all: MoPH

Flu vaccine free of charge for all: MoPH

By QLNews

The seasonal influenza vaccines will be made available to citizens and residents of Qatar free of charge, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced yesterday.

This came at the launch of the seasonal influenza campaign under the banner ‘Fight the Flu,’ a joint initiative between MoPH, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC).

Healthcare experts at the launch stressed the importance of getting a flu vaccine particularly in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The anti-flu drive seeks to vaccinate at least 500,000 individuals across the country.

According to the Ministry, the free vaccine will be delivered at all PHCC health centers, HMC (for patients attending clinic appointments) and at over 40 private clinics, hospitals and semi-governmental health care facilities.

“Getting a flu shot this year is more important than ever because of Covid-19. The flu vaccine may not protect you against Covid-19, but it will reduce your risk of developing the flu and flu-related complications, and reduce the possibility of getting infected with both the flu and Covid-19 viruses at the same time. It also helps not to get confused with Covid-19 symptoms,” said Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of the Infectious Diseases Division at HMC.

He further mentioned that the World Health Organization has underscored the importance of global widespread flu vaccinations this year.

The concerns are that “the same people who are most vulnerable to severe symptoms from COVID-19, such as those aged over 50 and those with chronic conditions regardless of their age are also at greatest risk from the flu and its complications,” he said, adding that “We also urge children aged between six months and five years of age and pregnant women to be vaccinated against the seasonal flu.”

Those who wish to get the flu shot can do so at multiple locations including their primary health care center or a designated private or semi-private clinic, said Dr. Khalid Hamid Elawad, manager, Health Protection, Preventive Health Directorate at PHCC.

"We encourage people to come early to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones from flu – it takes around two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu,” he added.

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Source: MoPH  
Cover Image Credit: Qatar Tribune
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