First batch of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in the next 10 days; say officials
During the press conference tonight, Dr Hamad Al Romaihi, Co-chairperson of the National Pandemic Preparedness Committee and Director of Health Protection and Communicable Diseases at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said, the first batch of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is to arrive in the next 10 days.
Other highlights by Dr Hamad Al Romaihi:
- Our vaccination campaign strategy will enable everyone who needs to be vaccinated to do so in 2021, but for now, we must prioritize people most at risk from severe complications from the virus.
- Our strategy for the COVID vaccination campaign – the biggest vaccination campaign ever to be delivered in Qatar – is made up of four phases throughout 2021.
- Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic the MoPH and key government partners have been diligently working with several leading pharmaceutical companies around the world who were in the advanced stages of developing vaccines against COVID-19.
- This proactive approach to securing a COVID-19 vaccine proved highly effective and two agreements were signed – with Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna.
- The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine was the first of these two to be given FDA approval and on December 21, 2020, Qatar received its first shipment.
- As with all countries across the world, we are currently faced with limited supplies of vaccines from Pfizer and BioNtech as they work to meet global demand.
- We have now received several shipments of Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines and we are due to receive weekly deliveries throughout February.
- In the next 10 days we expect to receive the first delivery of Moderna vaccines. While this will be an extremely limited quantity, this is an encouraging development, and we can expect regular, larger deliveries of both Moderna and Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines to arrive from early March.
- From March onwards we will have significantly greater quantities of vaccines available to us and be able to greatly expand our output.
Dr Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) said, the increasing number of new COVID-19 cases and in the number of people hospitalized every week is a matter of concern as it may be signs of a new wave of the pandemic in Qatar.
Other highlights by Dr Abdullatif Al Khal:
Highlights by Dr Mariam Abdulmalik:
- In the first few weeks of the campaign our medical teams have carefully monitored all patients following their vaccinations as this essential to check for possible side effects.
- As with any vaccination we have seen a small number of mild side effects, main soreness at the site of the injection.
- However, we have not seen any serious side effects directly related to the vaccine among patients receiving either the first or second dose of the vaccine.
- From January 13 many thousands of people began receiving their second dose of the vaccine and with operations running smoothly we expanded the vaccination campaign to include all 27 health centers across Qatar.
- This has boosted our capacity to administer vaccines and as more vaccines become available to us in Qatar, we will continue to increase output.
- As we progress through the phases of the campaign, and larger quantities of the vaccine become available to us in Qatar, we will continue to increase the number of vaccines we administer every week.
- Patients who are eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase 1 selected are being contacted directly by phone/SMS to advise them of their selection for the vaccine and invited to attend an appointment at one of the health centers.
- A recent advance is the launch of a new MOPH online system for people to register their interest in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
- People registering their desire to get the vaccine online and who meet the criteria for the priority groups will be given earlier appointments to take the vaccines.
- People who register via the online page but who are not in one of the listed priority groups, will have their interest recorded and saved by the MOPH, and they will be contacted when they become eligible.
- Following the launch of the online vaccine registration, more than 90,000 people have registered their interest.
- As more vaccines become available to us in Qatar this registration form will provide a valuable resource for us to contact people who wish to receive the vaccine as early as possible.
Four phases of COVID-19 vaccination
The first phase is from December 9, 2020, to March 2021
- Healthcare professionals (in facilities designated for COVID-19 patients)
- Key personnel and first responders (ambulance teams, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense, oil and gas sector, Hamad International Airport, and Qatar Airways)
- Long-term care and home care patients, and people aged 70 years old and above
- People with severe or multiple conditions
- People aged between 50 to 69
- 50 percent of teachers
The second phase from April 1 to June 30, 2021
- All healthcare professionals which were not included in the first stage
- Essential workers in the ministries and industries
- Employees in the food, housekeeping, transportation, taxi drivers, hairdressers and salons sectors
- Remaining staff at the schools and teachers
- People with conditions that moderately increase their exposure to disease-related risks and not included in the first stage
- People aged 40 and above
- People in group accommodation facilities designated for persons with physical disabilities or psychological problems or in the recovery phase and persons in detention facilities, prisons, and similar facilities and those working in such facilities
Third phase from June 1 to July 31, 2021
- Youth and children
- Workers in industries essential to the functioning of society who are at increased risk of disease are who not included in the first and second stages
The fourth phase from August 1 to October 31, 2021
- To all remaining citizens and residents of Qatar
Make sure to check out our social media to keep track of the latest content.
Instagram - @qatarliving
Twitter - @qatarliving
Facebook - Qatar Living
YouTube - qatarlivingofficial
Source: MoPH, The Peninsula
Cover Image Credit: Marsal Qatar