Influenza (flu) season is here and as the weather is changing, there are more chances of falling ill. That’s why Qatar has started its seasonal flu campaign and has made flu vaccinations free of charge available at all primary health-care centres, private health facilities and semi-government facilities.
Influenza (Flu) is a respiratory infection that is viral and every year flu vaccines are produced depending on the influenza strains that are most commonly circulating. Extensive research is done before the vaccine is produced to ensure its effectiveness.
This year's flu in Qatar is different from last year's and all the strains have been included in the new vaccine to make sure everyone who gets the vaccination is fully protected.
Influenza is a serious disease; it can lead to hospitalisation and, if complications arise, sometimes even death. Even though every flu season is different, and the influenza infection can affect individuals differently, ever year, millions of people get the flu, hundreds of thousands of people get hospitalised from it and tens of thousands even die from flu-related problems.
Even individuals that are healthy can get the flu and pass it on to others. That is the reason why it is very important to take all possible measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from this serious illness. By getting vaccinated, you help to protect yourself, your family and your friends.
It is recommended that everyone get the flu vaccination before the winter season starts because the vaccination needs, at least, 14 days to produce antibodies in the body that will work to raise immunity and prevent a flu infection.
According to Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC):
Other individuals who need to be vaccinated against influenza, according to the PHCC, are individuals with chronic lung disease (like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis), heart disease (like congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease), blood disorders (sickle cell disease), endocrine disorders (such as diabetes), kidney disorders, liver disorders and metabolic disorders (like inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders), a weakened immune system due to disease or treatment (HIV, cancer or those that are chronic steroid abusers) or under 19-year-olds, those that suffer from obesity and those who receive long-term aspirin therapy.
Although it is recommended that everyone get vaccinated against the flu, there are some individuals who should not try getting the vaccination. These include:
Qatar residents can receive their free flu vaccination at all PHCC’s health centers as well as at more than 45 clinics and hospitas across Qatar.
To make it easy for people to receive their flu vaccination, all Qatar residents with a valid health card can get their free flu vaccination at one of PHCC’s health centre in one of the following three ways:
1. During an existing appointment: If you have an existing appointment scheduled at a primary health centre you can ask the doctor for the flu vaccination and they will arrange for this to be done at the same time.
2. Drop in to your registered health centre: You may drop in without a scheduled appointment to the health centre you are registered at and you will receive your flu vaccination quickly. You can visit anytime during regular clinic opening hours: 7 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to 11 pm.
3. Schedule an appointment specifically for your flu vaccination: To book an appointment at your registered health centre to receive your flu vaccination you can call PHCC’s customer service Hayyak on 107.
Please note that you will be asked to wait for at least 15 minutes so that the clinical team can observe any adverse vaccination reaction, as per World Health Organisation and Ministry of Public Health guidelines.
A location map for each health centre can be found by clicking on the following link: https://fighttheflu.qa/EN/Where-to-get-the-flu-vaccination/Pages/default.aspx
For any inquiries related to getting your free flu vaccine at a primary health center call Hayyak, on 107.
You can also get flu vaccinations from a number of semi-government and private clinics and hospitals in Qatar. Click on the link for more information: https://fighttheflu.qa/EN/Where-to-get-the-flu-vaccination/Pages/default.aspx
Have you gotten the flu vaccination yet? Will you get the vaccination? What do you think of this initiative by the government of Qatar to provide free flu vaccinations? Do let us know in our Comments section. Like and share the article - it keeps us going!
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