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Friday, January 21, 2022

Qatar hits 4 million Covid-19 vaccine doses milestone


Qatar has reached yet another milestone as the total number of vaccine shots administered exceed 4 million.

Vaccination centres across Qatar have administered four million vaccines doses in total, official Ministry of Public Health figures showed on Wednesday. 

In its daily Covid report, the ministry confirmed that 21,570 doses of anti-Covid vaccine were given to members of the community over the past 24 hours, bumping the total number of doses to4012536

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

Figures on Wednesday showed that 88.8% of the eligible population (aged 12 and over) has received at least one dose of vaccine. 

The 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.

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.

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.

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