MoPH urges citizens and residents above 60 to get vaccinated as soon as possible
Qatar has always placed the health and safety of its population amongst its top priorities. This has been even more evident throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as the country began implementing a series of preventive and precautionary measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of its citizens and residents.
While maintaining one of the lowest mortality rates for COVID-19 in the world, Qatar continues to fight the pandemic with all its might.
The country launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign in December 2020. Until now, thousands of citizens and residents have already received both doses of the vaccine in Qatar.
The phase will prioritize healthcare professionals; key personnel, and first responders; 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; and 50 percent of teachers.
In a statement to Qatar News Agency, a public health official has urged citizens and residents above 60 to get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19 at the earliest possible.
"The recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Qatar has sadly resulted in four deaths of people over 60 in the past few days," Dr Hanadi Al Hamad, National Health Strategy 2018-2022 Lead for Healthy Ageing, said.
She underlined that people above 60 have a significantly higher risk of developing severe complications and even death due to COVID-19.
"I cannot emphasise strongly enough how important it is for older people to get their vaccine. Now that we have an approved and effective vaccine, elderly citizens and residents have the opportunity to become protected and live free from the threat of this virus," she added.
Referring to a recent increase in the number of people requiring admission to ICU due to severe complications from the COVID-19 virus, she said, "many elderly people have existing long-term medical conditions, they are more susceptible to severe complications and so they account for a large proportion of COVID-19 related ICU admissions."
"Due to their increased vulnerability and often weakened immune systems, the elderly are more susceptible to long-term complications due to COVID-19. Even if they recover from their immediate severe symptoms, many elderly people experience what is known as 'long-covid,'" Dr Hanadi highlighted.
Regarding the symptoms of long-covid, she mentioned that these may last several weeks or months. Extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, and problems with memory and concentration are among some of these symptoms.
"The COVID-19 vaccine helps to protect people from these long-term symptoms, and this is why it is so essential for older people to get vaccinated," she stressed.
Dr Hanadi also encouraged children to communicate with their elderly relatives about the importance of the vaccine.
"We know that some older people are still reluctant to take the vaccine - even though we now have a huge amount of evidence here in Qatar, which proves beyond doubt that the vaccine is completely safe. I urge everyone who has elderly relatives to help them overcome their fears about the vaccine and to support them in getting an appointment with their local health centre without delay," she said.
Indviduals can call on the PHCC hotline 40277077 to set an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccination or register online.Vaccinations at the health centers are only being administered to those who have pre-arranged appointments.
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