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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Vaccinated individuals ’29 times less likely’ to need hospitalisation: health official

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Qatar has been ranked the second country in the world with the highest percentage of eligible population who received at least the first dose of vaccine.

Those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are 29 times less likely to be hospitalised than those who are unvaccinated if they contract the virus, a health official has said.

Dr. Muna Al Maslamani, Medical Director of Communicable Disease Center (CDC) at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), said during a Qatar TV programme that receiving the vaccine can greatly protect against the virus, noting unvaccinated individuals are five times more likely to catch the infection than those who are.

The shot ensures the safety of its receiver even with the emergence of new virus strains that are more contagious and severe, according to a comparative study conducted by an international research centre.

The study was conducted between 1 May to 25 July to find differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated people, Dr. Muna stated.

The health official also said that despite the emergence of new variants and their detection in Qatar, such as the Delta variant, vaccines administered here have proved effective in protecting people from severe disease and reducing admissions to hospitals and ICUs.

During clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines showed they were almost 100% effective at preventing severe illness. In case of infection, vaccinated people tend to have mild to moderate cases of Covid-19 compared to those who aren’t vaccinated.

“A vaccinated person could be infected with minor symptoms but the vaccine will protect him from severe disease and admission to hospital,” Dr. Muna said.

As authorities continue to rapidly expand the country’s vaccination campaign, the number of daily cases continues to decrease. Last Saturday, the country reported less than 100 new community cases.

The statistics from the Ministry of Public Health [MoPH] reported a total of 157 new Covid-19 cases, 99 of which were among the community— the lowest since 1 August — and 58 among travellers.

The total number of reported cases was also the lowest since 2 August, when 150 cases were reported by the ministry.

Data also revealed that there has been no admission to the ICU unit or any deaths in the last 24 hours leading to Saturday. As of Monday, 26 people are receiving care in the ICU and the total number of active cases stands at 2,275.

Authorities also reported 126 new community cases, 63 among travellers as well as one death. The low numbers can be attributed to the government’s efforts to contain the virus, among which is a vast expansion of the National Vaccination campaign to ensure the community’s safety.

Vaccination Milestone 

On Monday, Qatar reported that 4,523,990 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country since the start of the campaign in December.

The Gulf country has also been ranked the second country in the world with the highest percentage of eligible population who received at least the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to Our World in Data.

The chart shows Qatar is ranked second in the world for the percentage of population that have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, among countries with a population of more than one million as of August 21.

The Gulf state also ranked fifth in the world for the highest fully vaccinated population among countries with over one million residents, according to the latest statistics published by the online publication, which compiles Covid-19 vaccination data from around the world.

However, the ministry said there remains a small percentage of people who are eligible for the vaccine that have yet to receive the shot.

Last week, at least 48,000 AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines arrived in Qatar as part of an agreement with COVAX, authorities confirmed.

COVAX is a worldwide initiative co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi (the Vaccines Alliance) and the World Health Organization (WHO), which cooperates with governments and international manufacturers to accelerate the development, production and accessibility to Covid-19 vaccines around the world.

Since last year, Qatar has been administering only two brands of the approved jabs for emergency use, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

However, AstraZeneca’s vaccine has also been proven to be effective against the overspreading virus and its multiple variants.

This will allow the country to vaccinate more people in the upcoming months, administering thousands of doses daily in order to return to normality.

Health authorities are now stepping up calls to urge the public to get vaccinated, especially with the Delta Variant now posing a major threat to people’s lives worldwide.


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