MOH News
MOH Launches Annual Seasonal Flu Vaccination Campaign
11 October 2015
The Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Saeed, said that the Ministry of Health (MOH) aims at vaccination of about 1.500.000 people against seasonal influenza during this season. 

He added that upon launching the Seasonal Flu Vaccination Campaign throughout the Kingdom, under sponsorship of His Excellency the Vice Minister of Health, Mr. Hamad bin Muhammad Al-Duwail‘, the Ministry has provided vaccination for more than 600.000 people during this season.

Dr. bin Saeed noted that this year, the Ministry managed to provide vaccination for more than 90% of the health sector staff targeted by the campaign, unlike the last year, where vaccination was provided for only 20% of them. 

He proclaimed that MOH mulls imposing Seasonal Flu vaccination as one of the health requirements starting from the next Hajj season in 1437H, pointing out that vaccination will be provided for the groups who are at high risk of developing acute complications when infected with the seasonal flu virus. 

For his part, the Supervisor of the National Immunization Program, Dr. Mosalam Abu Al-Hassan, said "The Ministry is focusing during this year on providing vaccination for the categories at risk, including healthcare workers, pregnant women, and patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart and kidney diseases, children aged between six months to five years, and the elderly. 
He indicated that vaccines have been provided to the MOH's health facilities (up to 275 hospitals and 2259 primary healthcare centers) throughout all the regions and provinces of the Kingdom.

"This campaign is being launched through vaccination units at MOH hospitals and the public healthcare centers across the Kingdom. It will be accompanied by a health awareness campaign for all members of society. Moreover, there is a series of lectures targeting staff of health sector, who provide care for groups at higher risk, to keep them abreast of the updates of the influenza vaccination and its effectiveness in reducing the risks of developing dangerous complications due to contracting the virus," explained Abu Al-Hassan, noting that more than 1.470.000 doses of the seasonal flu vaccine have been ordered to provide vaccination for the targeted categories, in addition to the vaccines provided by other governmental sectors.

It's worth mentioning here that the campaign targets staff of the health sectors, pregnant women and patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart diseases, thoracic diseases, etc. Studies have shown that influenza vaccination limits the spread of the infection within society and reduces the possibility of contracting the acute complications of influenza by 70% to 90%.
 
Seasonal Influenza is one of the infectious diseases that have health and economic impacts on the health system in any country. The annual recorded incidence of the disease is between 5 to 10% of adults and 30% of children. On the other hand, the number of the severe seasonal flu cases around the world, amounts to 3 - 5 million cases, while the number of deaths due to the virus is about 250.000 to 500.000 people.

The Influenza Flu vaccination provides the best protection against the influenza and its complications. It prevents transmission of the disease from one person to another, as the vaccine is prepared each year to provide protection against three or four viruses that are likely to cause the disease during that year. Vaccination is also the most effective way to prevent the influenza or its severe consequences, and it can be administered to any person aged six months and above.  

 



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