First batch of COVID-19 vaccine expected to be in Qatar by year-end, says official

First batch of COVID-19 vaccine expected to be in Qatar by year-end, says official

By QLNews

Qatar has been pulling out all the stops to protect the health of its citizens and residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to ensuring healthcare facilities to care for and manage COVID-19 patients, the country has had its eyes set on procuring a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is released for global use.

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) had revealed that it had been in talks with several pharmaceutical companies to secure the vaccine and had already signed an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech to supply Qatar with their BNT162 mRNA-based candidate vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.

Last month, the Ministry had also confirmed that it had signed another agreement with US-based Moderna, a Massachusetts-based biotech company.

Now, a top official from the Ministry has said that the first batch of an approved COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be available in Qatar by the end of this year.

Speaking to Al Rayyan TV yesterday, Director of Health Protection and Communicable Disease Control at the Public Health Department, Dr Hamad Eid Al Romaihi said that Qatar has signed deals with both Pfizer and Moderna to procure their COVID-19 vaccines.

The MoPH official highlighted that Qatar will have priority in receiving the vaccine, under the agreement with Pfizer.

It is expected that the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would arrive in Qatar by the end of 2020, he said, while the one from Moderna might be in Qatar in the first half of next year.

Dr Al Romaihi mentioned the efficacy levels of the vaccines as revealed by the two pharmaceutical companies in that Moderna's experimental vaccine is 94.5 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 and Pfizer's and BioNTech’s is said to be more than 90 percent effective.

Earlier, another top official from the Ministry had confirmed that the country will continue to discuss with other major companies in the field to secure the best options and enough quantities of an effective vaccine when possible and available.

The vaccine will be provided free of charge to Qatar residents, the official had said.

Here's everything you need to know about COVID-19, including ways to protect yourself.

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Cover Image: For illustrative purposes only
Source: Gulf Times
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