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QU academic highlights importance of flu vaccination during pandemic

QU academic highlights importance
of flu vaccination during pandemic

Tribune News Network
Dr Zachariah Nazar, assistant professor at Qatar University’s (QU) College of Pharmacy, has highlighted the importance of flu vaccine as the flu season coincides with rise in global coronavirus cases.
Medical experts are encouraging people to receive flu vaccine early to help ensure hospital beds are kept free for COVID-19 patients. Moreover, a recent research has revealed that people who are at higher risk from COVID-19 are also at greater risk of complications from flu.
According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), every year influenza (flu) kills an estimated 650,000 people globally. It is among the top 10 leading causes of death among people of all ages, especially those with chronic conditions such as heart disease. For these reasons, patients are being urged to adhere to advice from their health professionals and receive flu vaccination this year to reduce the risk of influenza-like illness, especially those that fall within the high-risk groups.
Dr Nazar explains, “There is a lot of inaccurate information regarding the flu vaccine, and therefore it is important for patients to share their concerns with trained health professionals, who are best placed to provide the correct advice.”
“When individuals are vaccinated against flu, their families and communities are also better protected,” Dr Nazar says. “When large numbers of people within a community are vaccinated, we see that the likelihood of the virus spreading and infecting the most vulnerable patients is less. During this pandemic, it is difficult to predict how individuals will react if they get sick, and therefore being vaccinated is the best prevention strategy”.
To support the public and ease any concerns, the College of Pharmacy has provided responses to frequently asked questions regarding the flu vaccine. This information has been sourced from reliable sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in Qatar.
From October 29, the vaccine is be available for free at the Primary Health Care Corporation clinics, HMC outpatient clinics (for patients attending clinic appointments) and designated private and semi-private clinics and hospitals across Qatar. Over 500,000 people will be vaccinated this season in the campaign that will be on until March 2021.
People can call 107 to book an appointment to receive the flu vaccine. Additionally, the MoPH has launched a Seasonal Influenza Campaign Website where people can find more information including where they can receive the vaccine: