As Qatar’s winter season begins, a senior healthcare expert is encouraging the community to prioritise their health and the well-being of their loved ones by getting flu shot before embarking on winter vacations.
The flu vaccine not only protects individuals from the potentially severe effects of the flu but also contributes to community-wide immunity, reducing the risk of widespread outbreaks. Dr Muna al-Maslamani, medical director of Hamad General Hospital, and chief executive officer of Communicable Disease Centre said it takes time to build immunity against influenza.
“It's important to note that building immunity takes time. The flu vaccine typically takes about two weeks to provide full protection. By getting vaccinated well before the winter vacation, individuals can ensure they are armed with the best defence against the flu during their travels. The flu shot provides a critical layer of protection against the flu, reducing the chances of falling ill during your trip.
“We recommend everyone, regardless of age or health status get their flu shot as soon as possible. By doing so, individuals not only protect themselves but also contribute to the overall health and resilience of their communities.”
Everyone aged six months and above should get the flu vaccine, especially those in high risk groups such as pregnant women, people aged over 50, people with chronic conditions and young children. Dr Maslamani also emphasised the safety of the flu vaccine, which is rigourously tested for efficacy and safety by global health authorities.
“The US-based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation consistently affirm the safety of the flu vaccine,” Dr al-Maslamani said. “The flu vaccine has been administered for decades, providing protection to millions of individuals worldwide. Its long history of safe use underscores its reliability and the confidence health experts place in its ability to prevent influenza.”
Dr Muna al-Malsamani