COVID-19 BOOSTER DOSE ONLY BY APPOINTMENT, NO WALK-INS

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has stressed that COVID-19, booster vaccine is only given to people who have received invitations to get vaccinated and who have met the eligible criteria.  

The Ministry has also urged citizens and residents to receive their COVID-19 booster vaccination once eligible to ensure immunity and protection against COVID-19 remains. With the COVID-19 booster vaccinations being administered since September 15,  to selected high-risk individuals in Qatar, the Ministry answered several questions to inform public on who is eligible to receive the booster dose as well as the process of scheduling an appointment.

“Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) is contacting eligible individuals directly to set an appointment.  An appointment is required for all COVID-19 booster vaccinations and currently no walk-in appointments are permitted,” The Ministry said on its official Twitter account yesterday. 

Explaining why a COVID-19 Booster Vaccination needed, the Ministry said that the latest internationally recognised clinical evidence shows that average protective immunity obtained from the first two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines begins to decline after eight months.

“The booster vaccination will give citizens and residents longer-term protection against all variants of COVID-19,” it added.  At present high-risk individuals who have their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine more than eight months ago are eligible. This includes, those over 50 years of age, those who are immunocompromised, those regardless of their age, with chronic medical conditions that increase their risk for contracting a severe case of COVID-19 and frontline healthcare workers.

While, senior healthcare officials have stated that the third COVID-19 vaccine dose is safer and effective against all strains of the Coronavirus. 

Speaking in a Qatar TV programme recently,  Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19, emphasized that recent clinical experiments have shown that the side effects from the third dose are similar or may be less than the side effects after the second dose.

Dr. Al Khal urged people who are eligible for the third dose to take the vaccine on time without hesitation. He also said that many countries have decided to give the third dose, and all countries are expected to follow the same approach. 

“It is expected that the booster dose will give a long-term protection that may extend to many months, or up to a year. It has been clinically proven that those who take the third dose have more antibodies than they had after the second dose,” said Dr. Al Khal.  

To date, 83.5% of the total population in Qatar received a full vaccination with two doses of the vaccine; one of the highest rates in the world.

The Ministry has stated that measuring full vaccination among the total population is the most important measure of the levels of protection against the virus among the community.

SOURCE – https://thepeninsulaqatar.com/article/22/10/2021/COVID-19-booster-dose-only-by-appointment,-no-walk-ins

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