No flu outbreak in Qatar, says MoPH official

Despite the flu season sweeping around, the country has not suffered any outbreaks, said a senior official at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) yesterday. 
About 140,00 people of different age groups have been vaccinated against seasonal influenza since the start of the national vaccination campaign in early October, said Dr Hamad Eid Al Rumaihi, Director of Health Protection and  Communicable Diseases, MoPH. 
“People are more aware about the influenza vaccination and many get vaccinated. As result of this we haven’t seen any flu outbreak in any community setting including schools,” he told media persons speaking on the sidelines of a workshop held yesterday. 
In reply to a question about the chance of getting the flu after being vaccinated, Dr Al Rumaihi said that the vaccine can reduce the risk of getting sick by 60% and will reduce chances of hospitalisation for flu complications by 80%.
“Main aim of the vaccination is to reduce complications of flu. Vaccination has proved reduction in the risk of flu illness, and reduces the risk of serious flu outcomes that can result in hospitalisation and even death,” he added.
According to Dr Al Rumaihi, the Ministry is studying the effectiveness and analysing the strength of the vaccination.   
In a joint initiative MoPH with the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) launched the national vaccination campaign with the onset of winter months. 
Being conducted for the fifth consecutive year, the campaign is being held under the theme ‘Fight the Flu’. The influenza vaccine has been made easily accessible to everyone to ensure vaccination of as many people as possible.
The vaccine is available for free across all PHCC’s health centres, HMC (for patients attending clinic appointments) and at 51 private and semi-governmental health care facilities.
“Last year we provided around 160,000 people with vaccines. This year we have increased it to 200,000 as we have seen an increasing interest in people getting vaccinated against the flu,” had said Al Romaihi during the launch of the national vaccination campaign in October 2019. 
All children under age five, adults age 65 and older, pregnant women, people with any chronic illness and with weak immune systems from disease or medication are at increased risk have a higher risk of getting really sick from the flu. 

As seen on Peninsula Qatar  Image Credits Peninsula Qatar