Urging people to take vaccines or booster shots by already vaccinated and advising people to adhere strictly to preventive measures, Dr. Soha Al Bayat said that the cases of COVID-19 have doubled compared to October this year.

“Recently most of the infected people are unvaccinated including adults and children and those completed six months after taking second dose of COVID-19 vaccine,” said Head of Vaccination at Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Dr. Soha Al Bayat.

Speaking in a Qatar TV programme yesterday, she said that another reason of increase in infection rate is negligence by people in complying COVID-19 measures in the community. For example, she said: “When we said that a person is allowed to not wear a face mask in open places, there was a condition – like these places should not be crowded.”

She said that unfortunately negligence by people was noted in wearing face masks, adhering to social distancing as they resumed shaking hands and traditional greetings and socialisation in close proximity without masks. “These are the factors which contributed to increase in cases of COVID-19,” said Dr. Soha.

According to a study, she said, the booster dose of COVID-19 is 75 percent effective in protecting people from the Coronavirus.

She urged people to not pay heed to rumours about the side effects of vaccines and rush to their health centres to take the vaccines.

“Those who did not take the vaccine take first and second doses and those who took both doses are eligible to take the third after six months from the date of second dose,” said Dr. Soha.

She also asked people to keep wearing face masks as they were found “highly effective” in fighting against coronavirus even they helped greatly in reducing the cases of seasonal flue and severity of asthma.

“When people started neglecting wearing face masks, we observed increase in the cases of COVID-19, seasonal flue and asthma,” said Dr. Soha. To a question about hesitation of people in taking booster dose, she said that people should take the information from right sources like doctors and specialists not from social networking sites.

“The study proved the effectiveness of all doses of COVID-19 vaccines – first, second and third. The people should know that the third dose is not new as it is part of the previous doses that they already took therefore they may face the similar side effects what they faced after taking previous two doses,” said Dr. Soha.

She said that over 200,000 doses of COVID-19 booster have been administered in Qatar without a single case of major complication. “I would like to assure that no one died or admitted in ICU in Qatar because of any type of COVID-19 vaccines – first, second or third dose as it is safe and effective not only in Qatar but all over the world,” said Dr. Soha. 

“The clinical studies conducted in Qatar and other countries of the world probed that antibody declined after six months from the date of second dose of vaccination,” said Dr. Soha.