• 10/22/2023

    Doha 18 October, 2023: The seasonal influenza vaccination is safe for pregnant women and also can help to protect both mothers and their babies aged under six months, from getting the flu and as winter approaches it is more important than ever that they get vaccinated.

    Though most people recover relatively quickly from flu, pregnancy can change the way the human body handles a viral infection, according to Dr.Huda Abdulla Al Saleh, Senior Consultant Obstetrics and Gynecology and Executive Director of Quality and Safety at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Women’s Wellness and Research Center.

     “Pregnancy changes how the body responds to infections, which is why pregnant women are considered to be at increased risk of serious complications from flu, including pneumonia,” Dr. Al Saleh said. "That is why we are encouraging all pregnant women to have the vaccine as soon as possible, so they are protected from flu viruses circulating this winter.”

    Dr. Al Saleh said the flu vaccination is extensively researched and not only is it safe in pregnancy at any stage, but it's positively recommended in pregnancy. 

    “The influenza vaccine has been given safely to millions of pregnant women worldwide over many years,” she said. “Influenza vaccinations have not been shown to cause harm to pregnant women or their babies. Women who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives. It is also safe for women who are breastfeeding to have the vaccine.”

    The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) have again joined forces to offer free flu vaccines to all in Qatar.

    People can get the free flu vaccine at all Primary Health Care Centers and private clinics as well as when they attend outpatients’ appointments at HMC.

    “At HMC, patients can ask to receive their flu vaccine when they attend their scheduled outpatient’s department appointments and we are encouraging them to do this,” Dr. Al Saleh said. “You can also take the vaccine at all Primary Health Care Centers and a range of private clinics in Qatar.”

    For more information about the flu vaccine including where you can your free flu shot, go to www.fighttheflu.qa