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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

HMC to start vaccinating housebound patients, family members

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The latest move aims to protect vulnerable communities from getting infected.

Hamad’s Home Healthcare Service (HHS) has starting administering Covid-19 vaccines for housebound patients, along with adults living in the same homes, to protect them against the virus. 

Adults living with the patients will need to fit the medical criteria for eligibility to get vaccinated, officials announced.

The latest addition to the vaccination outreach campaign – endorsed by the health ministry – ensures that vulnerable patients are receiving the right protection amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

“The Covid-19 vaccination outreach campaign is an important step in expanding the vaccination capacity in Qatar. And by vaccinating our patients along with other adult household members, we are enhancing their protection,” said Mahmoud al-Raisi, Chief of the Continuing Care Group at Hamad Medical Corporation [HMC]. 

Read also: Quarantine policy for children of vaccinated parents ‘under review.’

Dr. Hanadi al-Hamad, National Lead for Healthy Ageing and Chairperson for the Department of Geriatrics and Long-Term Care, said that the latest move comes after the institution received feedback from several patients who said they felt hesitant to leave their homes to get vaccinated.

“As a large portion of our home healthcare patients are older, which is exactly the population group who are among the most vulnerable from Covid-19, we wanted to establish a solution that will provide them with added protection,” said Dr. al-Hamad.

“It was therefore very important to extend the eligibility criteria for this campaign to include both family and other household members who closely interact with our patients.”

Read also: Moderna vaccine in Qatar: Here’s all you need to know

Currently, there are 2,000 home-bound patients who are being considered for the vaccine, the state-funded health institution announced. 

“We operate in accordance with strict guidelines for the vaccines we use for home healthcare patients,” said Deputy National Lead of Healthy Ageing and Medical Director of the Home Healthcare Services, Dr. Essa al-Sulaiti.

“This effort has been a collaboration between different groups to ensure a smooth transition across the whole pathway, which includes identifying eligible families in the community and getting their agreement, then collecting the vaccine and ensuring it is administered and documented appropriately.”

Qatar is set to vaccinate at least 90 percent of the eligible population by the end of the year, according to Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of Infectious Diseases at HMC.

The country has taken several measures and initiatives to boost the Covid-19 vaccination campaign and ensure its success, he said, adding that at least 100,000 people must be vaccinated each week in order to reach the target.

“27 health centres throughout the country provide vaccine to people seven days a week from 7am to 11pm. In addition we recently open the vaccination centre at the Qatar National Convention Centre, which can deliver 8,000 doses a day,” said Dr. Al Khal. 

“We also trained nurses at different ministries and entities to administer vaccine. Now they are vaccinating their frontliners at their own facilities,” he added.

Qatar’s Primary Health Care Corporation [PHCC] began administering the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine on Monday in three different health centres.

The Moderna vaccine, the second in the country after the joint Pfizer-BioNTech doses, is now available at the Al Wajba, Lebaib, and Thumama health centres.


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