Overwhelming response to COVID-19 vaccine in Qatar

By Sanaullah Ataullah | The Peninsula

Doha: Head of Vaccination at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Dr. Soha Al Bayat, has said that Covid-19 vaccine being provided by Qatar has received high response from people.

Speaking to a Qatar Radio programme yesterday, Dr. Soha said that 10 days completed since the Ministry rolled out the vaccine in the country and no complaint or any severe type of complication recorded.

“We received calls from people seeking vaccines against COVID-19. There is overwhelming response for the vaccine. I would like to assure people that no complaints of serious complications, so far, have been recorded among those who received the vaccine,” she said. 

She said that the vaccines are being provided in phases. “Now we are in phase 1 (A) which covers three sections of the society: senior citizens aged 70 and above, people with chronic diseases with risks and complications such as renal failure and frontline healthcare workers,” said Dr. Soha.

She said that completion of phase 1 (A) vaccine programme will be announced next week and people will be kept updated about the coming phases.

Speaking about the possible side effects of COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Soha said: “There are mild side effects of the vaccine like any other types of vaccine. It could cause light fever and slight soreness at the place of injection.”

She said that the most common side effect is slight pain in the arm where the vaccine is administered for few hours for some people or for maximum 24 hours for others. 

“Most of the people who took vaccine of COVID-19 need not to take medicines, few people who need are prescribed minor medicines like any painkiller or those for reducing fever,” said Dr. Soha.

She urged people to keep adhering to the preventive and precautionary measures at this stage to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“The provision of vaccine against COVID-19 does not mean the pandemic is over. The vaccines are provided in phases. At least 75 percent people should be vaccinated in Qatar and the same percentage in all over the world but we could not reach at this level,” said Head of Vaccination at Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).

“We are expected to reach this level in summer 2021. During current phase, measures like social distancing, wearing face masks, not shaking hands and using sanitisers should be continued.”
She asked people to have patience and do not be in hurry in demanding for lifting the restrictions. 

“We should follow up closely the scientific information about COVID-19 vaccines. Clinical experiments and studies on the vaccine continue to obtain more information in this regard,” said Dr. Soha.
Now, she said, for example, when the vaccine came first it was suggested for people aged 18 and above but now the clinical experiments include aged 16 and above. 

“A vaccine manufacturing company is experimenting on those aged 12 and above by the time more sections could be added,” said Dr. Soha.

She said that adequate number of people will be administered vaccines against COVID-19 during coming months and more accurate information will be available which will help to overcome the pandemic.

Qatar Safar

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