WATCH:Qatar in advanced discussions with several pharmaceutical companies to procure COVID-19 vaccine: MoPH official
Since the onset of COVID-19, the country has dedicated efforts to ensure the highest standards of monitoring, detection, and management of the infection, keeping the health and wellbeing of the population as a top priority.
Qatar’s efforts in this regard led to the flattening of the curve and the country is now in the final phase of the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.
As reminded by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) every day, the pandemic has not ended and the fight against it continues.
Yesterday, a top MoPH official confirmed that Qatar is in advanced negotiations with several international pharmaceutical companies to procure a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is released for global use.
“Qatar’s comprehensive strategy to protect its population from COVID-19 has been very effective and has resulted in controlling the pandemic and having one of the world’s lowest COVID-19 mortality rates. Yet despite our success in controlling the spread of the virus, it is clear that Qatar, like other countries around the world, will be living with COVID-19 for some time to come,” said Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation.
Chair of National Strategic Group on COVID-19 revealed that Ministry of Public Health has reached an advanced stage in negotiations with a number of global pharmaceutical companies to purchase a vaccine against the coronavirus, as soon as it is offered for global use. #QNA pic.twitter.com/CEtAw1QtOn— Qatar News Agency (@QNAEnglish) October 4, 2020
Dr Al Khal said the key to curbing the spread of COVID-19 is following the preventive measures in place including wearing of masks, keeping a safe distance and limiting gatherings.
“But only when we have an effective vaccine will we be able to fully return towards normal life,” he added.
MoPH is in advanced talks with leading international pharmaceutical companies working on a COVID-19 vaccine, he said.
The aim is to obtain a sufficient quantity of vaccines to ensure those eligible for the vaccine in Qatar are able to receive one as soon as possible.
“I am delighted to announce that the Ministry of Public Health has already signed an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech to supply Qatar with their BNT162 mRNA-based candidate vaccine against SARS-CoV-2,” Dr Al Khal stated.
“The vaccine is still in the process of undergoing clinical trials and only once all necessary regulatory approvals have been given will the vaccine be distributed,” he said.
According to Dr Al Khal, “supply is planned for the end of 2020 to 2021, subject to clinical success and necessary regulatory approvals.”
He mentioned that “the agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech is one of the options to help address the threat of this global pandemic in Qatar.”
However, for now, while there is no approved vaccine available, people must remember the importance of following the preventive measures and staying safe, the official said.
Here's everything you need to know about COVID-19, including ways to protect yourself.
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Cover Image Credit and Source: MoPH