There are many reasons to get a flu vaccination each year but, primarily, it’s the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against flu and its potentially serious complications.
Manager of Health Protection at the Preventive Health Directorate of the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), Dr. Khalid Al Awad, said “Most people who become sick with flu recover within a few days, but some may develop serious complications, like pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus infection. For those with underlying chronic health conditions, their impacted immune systems not only put them at high risk of these serious, flu-related, complications, but flu may also worsen their chronic health problems.
The flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu but, if you do get it, the vaccination has been shown in, several studies, to reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick, therefore reducing the risk of flu-associated hospitalization.
For example, flu vaccination can reduce the risk of a flu-related worsening of chronic lung disease requiring hospitalization and, among people with diabetes, flu vaccination has also been shown, in separate studies, to be associated with reduced hospitalizations from a worsening of their chronic condition.”
It is because influenza viruses are constantly changing that the influenza strains that were common during last year’s flu season may not be as prevalent in the current flu season and, for this reason, flu vaccines are updated each year to ensure your protection. We must also consider that immunity wanes over time and an annual vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against this.”
To avoid a dual infection of influenza and COVID-19, Dr. Al Awad, recommends that patients, specifically those with chronic conditions, “take flu out of the equation” by getting vaccinated this year.
“It is absolutely safe to get both the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine. As the goal is to avoid an overlap of two respiratory-borne diseases, I strongly urge patients with chronic underlying health conditions, falling under the higher risk group, to ensure that we prevent both infections and avoid serious complications.”
More information including where to get the flu vaccine in Qatar and FAQs about the flu and COVID-19 can be found on the campaign website www.fighttheflu.qa