MoPH approves third dose of COVID-19 vaccine for specific groups
As Qatar continues to leave no stone unturned in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has approved a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) for those suffering from specific immunodeficiency diseases.
The approval follows the recent authorization issued by the US Food and Drug Administration as well as the approval of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The third dose only applies to individuals with severe immunodeficiency and those who are particularly vulnerable to serious complications of COVID-19 infection, the Ministry highlighted.
People under this categorization are at a higher risk of developing serious, prolonged illness if they contract COVID-19 as they may not get the same level of immunity after receiving two doses of the vaccine, in comparison to people who do not suffer from immunodeficiency.
These people will benefit from the additional vaccine dose that ensures they get adequate protection against COVID-19.
Ministry of Public Health has approved a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines - "Pfizer and BioNTech" and "Moderna" - to individuals suffering from certain immunodeficiency diseases. #QNAhttps://t.co/sd6wDtvCgu pic.twitter.com/jiqjIYgqt9— Qatar News Agency (@QNAEnglish) August 24, 2021
The Ministry further explained that the third dose seeks to better the response of immunocompromised people to the initial series of COVID-19 vaccines they have received.
The third dose is not considered a booster dose like that given to individuals when it is likely that their immune response to the initial series of vaccines they have received has weakened over time.
The decision to give the third dose to specific groups is in line with the current clinical evidence, the Ministry stressed, adding that it will continue to review and take more decisions regarding the additional dose to other groups when more evidence is available.
According to the Ministry, the following groups are currently eligible to receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as follows:
- Individuals who are currently receiving cancer treatments to treat tumors or leukemias.
- Individuals who have had an organ transplant and are using drugs that suppress the immune system.
- Individuals who have had a stem cell transplant within the past two years, or are using immunosuppressive drugs.
- Individuals with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (eg, DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
- Individuals with advanced or untreated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
- Individuals currently receiving treatment with high doses of corticosteroids or other medications that may suppress the immune response such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, and other immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory biological agents.
- Individuals with chronic conditions such as asplenia and chronic kidney disease.
Those eligible to receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be contacted directly by the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) or a member of the specialized care team supervising their treatment at Hamad Medical Corporation.
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