Weekly Covid-19 updates show a speed-up in the vaccination drive in Qatar.
At least 1 in 6 adults have received one or two dose of the vaccine in Qatar so far, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced on Monday.
Some 18.2% of the total population in Qatar (16 years and above) have received at least the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine to date, the health ministry said in its weekly update.
According to official figures, 134,498 doses have been administered in the last seven days, bringing the overall total since the start of the inoculation drive to 594,613.
— وزارة الصحة العامة (@MOPHQatar) March 22, 2021
A further break down of the figures shows 70% of people above the age of 80 have received at least the first dose, while the corresponding figures for those above 60 and 70 years are 66.8% and 69.4%, respectively.
The numbers come as health authorities launched an initiative to collect feedback from the public to monitor side effects that emerge from taking the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
“With any vaccine, individuals may develop side effects, and it is the same for those who have received the Covid-19 vaccine. Minor symptoms that occur after receiving a vaccine are normal and are expected as the body builds immunity,” the ministry said.
“It is important to record symptoms for all the doses. So, please note you need to submit feedback for each dose separately,” it added.
The ministry, along with senior health officials, have been engaging with the public in recent weeks to provide assurances that the vaccines are safe to use, even for those with allergies.
In an interview with Qatar Radio, Dr. Mahdi Al-Adly, the head of the Immunology and Allergy Department at Sidra Medicine said just five cases of severe side effects are recorded for every one million Pfizer vaccine shots, noting the number is extended to every 2.8 million shots for the Moderna brand.
In Qatar, the last cases of severe allergic reactions were last recorded on January 27 and included mostly women and people with a history of previous hypersensitivity, the doctor added.
All of those cases have since been treated and cured, he said.
The composition of the vaccine is devoid of any food materials, fungi, antibiotics, or insect toxins, therefore it is safe for everyone who is allergic to any of these substances.
“However, people with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine should not take it,” MoPH advised.
Monitoring measures are also in place across all vaccination centres in Qatar to ensure all those that are inoculated are cared for at least 15 minutes after the appointment.
“During the pre-vaccination assessment carried out before each vaccination, the medical team will ask the patient about any allergies and discuss it with them. Everyone receiving the vaccine is monitored for a period of 15 minutes following the vaccination to ensure that there are no adverse reactions,” the ministry added.
For those still unsure about the vaccination process, helpful information is available for all residents of Qatar on the MoPH’s hotline.