MoPH to start administering COVID-19 booster doses to high-risk individuals
Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced yesterday that it will begin giving the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to all high-risk individuals, who had received their second dose more than eight months ago, from September 15.
Last month, the Ministry began administering a third dose of these vaccines to people with specific immunodeficiency diseases. 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, the Ministry had explained.
The first few months of the booster program will focus on people most at risk of severe infection, including those over 65 years of age and those with chronic conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19, in addition to frontline healthcare workers and other sectors.
Accordingly, the most recent clinical evidence reveals that for most people the protective immunity gained from the primary vaccine series begins to gradually go down following a period of eight months. This is particularly true for mild to moderate infections, the Ministry said.
The booster shot can significantly increase the antibody levels against the virus for such individuals. It can enhance their level of protection against variants, including the Delta variant, for several months.
The Ministry underlined that booster doses have also proven to be safe and are not associated with any significant side effects.
People who receive the booster dose will get the same vaccine they had gotten for their first two doses. At present, the only two vaccines for which booster doses will be given are Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
The Ministry said it will kick off the booster program from Wednesday, September 15. All those eligible to receive the booster dose will be contacted by the Primary Health Care Corporation to set a vaccination appointment.
Moreover, the Ministry urged people to ensure they get their booster dose within 12 months of their second dose to ensure they maintain their Gold vaccinated status on Ehteraz.
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