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High-risk people are encouraged to take their booster shot immediately in Qatar

There has been a strong push among high-risk patients to receive their Covid-19 booster dose as soon as possible. Officials from the Department of Health have emphasised the significance of obtaining a booster dosage and how it may increase one’s immunity.

From September 15 onwards, all high-risk people who had their second dose of the vaccine more than eight months ago will receive booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines in Qatar. It is expected that the booster dose will provide long-term protection against Covid-19 and other variants of the virus for several months, or even hopefully up to one year, according to Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, chair of the National Health Strategy Group on Covid-19 and head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

There is scientific and clinical evidence to support MoPH’s choice to give the booster dosage. Many other nations have already made such a decision. According to Dr. al-Khal, the vaccination will be administered to the vast majority of persons who received the two doses in January, February, and March of this year, in the coming months.

As a result of the efforts, the vaccination programme in Qatar has been deemed a great success. “We have been able to cover the majority of the population, with 78% of the population receiving two doses of the vaccine so far.” According to Dr Soha al-Bayat, the head of Vaccination at the Ministry of Public Health, vaccination coverage in Qatar is “extremely high” and “one of the highest in the world”.

An additional dosage will be given to individuals in Qatar who qualify on September 15th, she said. “Booster doses have been shown to be effective, safe with very minor side effects, similar to the first two doses.”

She continued, “Those eligible to take the vaccine will be contacted to book an appointment for the date and time suitable for all. I urge all of those who have finished eight months since they took the second dose, to go ahead and take the second dose to ensure they have enhanced immunity, protecting them and their loved ones from Covid-19 infection.”

High-risk patients would benefit from the Covid-19 booster dosage, according to Dr Muna al-Maslamani, medical head of the Communicable Disease Center at the HMC. “The first few months of the booster phase programme will focus on individuals most at risk of severe infection, who include people above 65 and those with chronic conditions, as well as frontline healthcare workers. The approval is in line with recent clinical evidence supporting the additional protective effect of a booster dose,” she said.

“The latest clinical evidence shows that for most people, the protective immunity obtained from the primary vaccine series gradually started to decline after a period of eight months. The booster dose will benefit individuals by significantly increasing their antibody levels against the virus and by raising the level of protection against different variants, including Delta, for many months ahead,” the official explained.

“I encourage all members of the community to receive their booster vaccine as soon as they become eligible to ensure they maintain a high level of protection against Covid-19,” she added. A booster vaccine appointment process for high-risk people was outlined by Dr Samya al-Abdulla, executive director of operations at Primary Health Care Corporation.

Primary Health Care Corporation executive director of operations, Dr Samya al-Abdulla, described the booster vaccination appointment procedure for high-risk people. 

“We continue to give the Covid-19 vaccines across all our 28 health centres and our vaccination team is ready to begin administering the booster dose to the community. We encourage you to get your booster dose without any delay as soon as you have been contacted by your registered health centres to fix an appointment,” she said.

“It is important that you receive the booster vaccine within 8-12 months of your second dose to ensure you remain protected against Covid-19, and to maintain your Gold Vaccinated Status on Ehteraz,” she added.

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