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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

90% yet to be vaccinated as Qatar’s Covid inoculation drive gains pace


Since December, the government has been administering the vaccine to those eligible in order to ensure the safety of the community. 

Around 327,582 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the start of the vaccination programme in December, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) announced.

In an infographic on Twitter, the ministry’s data showed that over half of the people aged 60 and above have received at least their first dose of the vaccine.

According to the data, 61 percent of those who are above 80 years of age, 61 percent of those above 70 years of age, in addition to 55 percent of those above 60 years of age have successfully received the vaccine. 

Minister of Public Health Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari confirmed 10 percent of the country’s entire adult population has received at least the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination and urged people to go for the second dose in order to ensure its efficacy. 

“Our decision to focus on the most vulnerable in the initial stages of the vaccination program has helped to ensure that we have been able to protect many of the high-risk, elderly population. I urge all the remaining elderly and at risk population to take the opportunity of vaccinating”, she added.

“We are now significantly expanding our vaccination programme and have seen an impressive increase in the number of vaccines administered each week throughout the program.”

With the most recent batch of Moderna vaccines arriving in Qatar, alongside the already existing Pfizer and BioNTech shots, the national programme is “moving at pace”, she said.

The ministry also added that in the first six weeks of the vaccination program, over 60,000 doses were administered to those deemed high risk, while over 267,000 doses have been give in the last six weeks to other priority groups. 

“Due to the availability of more vaccines and the opening of additional vaccination centres, including Qatar National Convention Center and the Lusail Covid-19 Drive-Through Vaccination Center, we have been able to widen the eligibility to include more sections of our population,” said Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on Covid-19 and Head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation.

Read also: How will the Covid-19 drive-thru vaccination centre work?

Al Khal added that clinical trials globally have proved that both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines provide significant protection against the virus after the first dose. 

Last Wednesday, the age of eligibility for the Covid-19 vaccine was lowered to 50. campaign expands.

This meant that those who are now eligible for the vaccine are 50 years or older, regardless of their health conditions.

People with moderate chronic medical conditions, healthcare professionals and other key workers in different ministries and government institutions, as well as those working in the education sector, can also be vaccinated.

Though the inoculation drive has expanded in recent weeks, some have complained over the perceived slow-paced administering of vaccines, especially when compared to neighbouring countries.

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