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Friday, January 21, 2022

90% of eligible population receive first Covid-19 dose


The country’s vaccinated drive has been expanding to ensure the safety of the community as restrictions slowly lift. 

Over 90% of Qatar’s eligible population have now received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, figures from the ministry of health have shown.

In its daily Covid report on Saturday, the ministry confirmed that 90.2% of the eligible population (12 years +) have received one dose, while 76.2% have completed the full course.

Meanwhile, almost 80% of the total population have received the full dose of the vaccine, taking the country closer to its vaccination target for the year.

In the last 24 hours, vaccination centres administrated over 10,000 doses, the report added.

Qatar hits 4 million Covid-19 vaccine doses milestone


Health authorities have rapidly expanded the vaccination campaign in recent months to ensure the community’s safety— administrating thousands of doses daily.

On Wednesday, authorities administered around 21,570 doses of the anti-Covid vaccine to members of the community in one day, surpassing 4 million doses in total. Currently, 4,076,666 doses have been administered by vaccination centres across the country.

Qatar’s largest vaccination centre, Qatar Vaccination Center for Business and Industry Sector has also administered more than one million doses of the vaccine since opening, Qatar News Agency reported.

The centre is dedicated to vaccinating business and industry workers as part of the country’s phased plan to lift Covid-19 restrictions. It covers more than 300,000 square metres, making it one of the largest vaccination centres in the world.

Hosting over 300 vaccination stations and 700 staff, the centre has the capacity to administer more than 25,000 doses a day.

The latest hopeful numbers means the Gulf state is now among the leading countries to vaccinate the largest percentage of the total population.

However, health officials are still urging all eligible people to get vaccinated as soon as possible amid concerns over the spread of the Delta variant.

Read also: Qatar extends Phase 3 Covid-19 restrictions for extra month.

Pregnant women are among vulnerable groups that are strongly advised to get vaccinated against Covid-19, especially after the detection of severe cases with the Delta variant in Doha.

“With the Delta Covid-19 strain currently in circulation in Qatar, it is more important than ever for pregnant women to get inoculated against the virus,” Lead for National Health Strategy 2018-2022 Dr Najat Khenyab said.

“The Delta variant is more transmissible and causes more severe symptoms than other strains,” the doctor added.

“Around the world, hundreds of thousands of pregnant women have been vaccinated, mainly with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and no notable safety concerns have been identified. The vaccines are highly effective as almost all hospital admissions are for individuals who are not fully vaccinated,” Dr. Khenyab added.

The doctor referred to the World Health Organisation (WHO) saying that pregnant women are at higher risk of experiencing severe Covid-19 compared to women that are not expecting.

Read also: Qatar loosens Covid-19 restrictions as vaccination drive expands

“Pregnant women are at increased risk for severe outcomes when they get Covid-19 and even if they’re healthy, the pregnancy itself makes them susceptible to some of the complications of the virus. Therefore, pregnant women are more likely to have severe Covid-19 and more likely to be hospitalised, and any severe illness in pregnancy increases the risk to the outcome of the pregnancy,” Dr. Khenyab said.

Authorities have also been stressing the importance of vaccinating those above 65, stating that almost all Covid-19 hospital admissions of people in that age group are not fully vaccinated.

Children aged 12-15 are also among the vulnerable population. Although they may not experience severe symptoms, they are at risk of prolonged period of sickness and there’s a high chance of transmitting the virus rapidly.

Health officials are combining efforts to assure parents that the vaccine is safe for their children and extremely important for returning back to school and normal life.

Dr Soha Al Bayat, Head of the Vaccination Section in the Department of Health Protection and Communicable Disease Control at the Ministry of Public Health, pointed out that more than 40% of children aged 12-15 years have taken two doses of the vaccine recently.

Medical Director of Hamad General Hospital Dr. Yousef al-Maslamani previously assured vaccines used in Qatar are safe for use.

“We have vaccines which are very safe and highly effective against such variants. Therefore, it is more important than ever to get vaccinated. Your support is important, and it makes us all safe if everyone gets vaccinated at the earliest,” he said.

Earlier this month, Qatar’s cabinet has announced several updates to Phase 3 of the gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions during a meeting held at the Amiri Diwan.

The updates included bumping up the number of people allowed in gatherings, opening prayer halls and changing rooms at malls, and increasing public beaches capacity.

The decision came shortly after authorities reviewed a report by the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management on the country’s plan to ease restrictions.

Authorities added that they will continue to “monitor key performance indicators to ensure a balance between the continuity of providing protection to the population on the one hand and restoring social and economic life to normal, on the other hand,” according to a statement.

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