No reason for public to worry about safety of COVID-19 vaccine in Qatar: health official

No reason for public to worry about safety of COVID-19 vaccine in Qatar: health official

By QLNews

Qatar has left no stone unturned in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic, relevant authorities in the country have ensured the highest levels of monitoring, testing and management to protect the health of the population.

After the Ministry of Public Health’s (MoPH) dedicated efforts to secure a safe, effective and reliable COVID-19 vaccine, the country began its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on December 23, 2020.

No serious side effects of this vaccine have been reported in Qatar so far, a senior health official has confirmed.

Speaking to Qatar Television yesterday, Dr Yousuf Al Maslamani, medical director of Hamad General Hospital, said there is no reason for citizens and residents of Qatar to be concerned about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine based on the long-established record of quality services led by MoPH.

The senior health official highlighted that thousands of individuals in Qatar have received the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine already.

“None of them have had any complications, and therefore we hope that the vaccination will be carried out among people,” Al Maslamani is quoted to have said by Qatar Tribune.

A topical pain on the site of vaccination has been observed, which is normal for all types of vaccination, the official mentioned. This kind of pain goes away within 24 hours.

The COVID-19 vaccine remains optional in Qatar, Dr Al Masalmani said. However, it may be a requirement for people to board some flights and enter some countries.

Referring to the choice element, he pointed out, "In Qatar, the seasonal flu vaccine, which is being given for several years, is not compulsory and has always remained a personal choice.”

Furthermore, Dr Al Maslamani underlined that there has been no sign of a second wave in Qatar and the situation has been quite stable.

This has been “due to the high level of public awareness and people abiding by the precautionary and preventive measures, and the intensive efforts exerted by the authorities concerned in this regard,” he said, according to Gulf Times.

The first phase of Qatar's COVID-19 vaccination campaign will run until January 31, 2021. 

During the first phase, priority will be given to: 1. People aged 65 years and above. 2. People with severe chronic conditions. 3. Healthcare workers with repeated exposure to COVID-19.

At present, those who are eligible to receive the vaccine will be contacted directly by Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) by SMS or phone call in order to fix an appointment.

All community members who do not fall under the priority groups have been asked to wait until it is their turn.

MoPH had earlier confirmed that it is working with pharmaceutical companies to ensure the next shipment of the vaccine arrives in the country "as early as possible in 2021."

"Everyone who needs to be vaccinated will be able to do so throughout the year," MoPH had said.

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Source: Gulf Times, Qatar Tribune
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