Qatar to provide COVID-19 vaccine free of charge to all residents

Qatar to provide COVID-19 vaccine free of charge to all residents

By QLNews

Qatar has worked above and beyond to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the country began implementing a series of preventive and precautionary measures while utilizing the latest technology to ensure the health and wellbeing of its citizens and residents.

With its success in flattening the curve, Qatar gradually moved from phase to phase of its easing of COVID-19 restrictions plan.

As the country continues its fight against the virus, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) confirmed that it is in advanced negotiations with several pharmaceutical companies to procure the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is released for global use.

The vaccine will be provided free of charge to Qatar residents, according to a senior health official.

Speaking to Qatar TV, Dr Abdullatif Al Khal, chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation said, "The first quantities of the vaccine could be limited in quantity, so priority would be given to the most vulnerable categories of people such as the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases.”

"Over time, more and more quantities of the vaccine would be available to provide for all as Qatar is set to buy it from different entities to be able to make available locally sufficient quantities as soon as possible,” he said.

Earlier this week, Dr Al Khal confirmed that MoPH had inked an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech to supply Qatar with their BNT162 mRNA-based candidate vaccine against Sars-CoV-2.

"According to the website of Pfizer, the vaccine would possibly be approved by the end of October or the start of November this year after the successful clinical trials,” he said in the interview with Qatar TV.

"If things go well by the end of 2020 around 100 million portions of the vaccine would be produced globally to be increased to more than 1 billion in 2021,” he noted.

Dr Al Khal further said that MoPH has been studying the latest information published by credible scientific journals and periodicals on the experiments conducted by companies and universities in this regard.

Based on its understanding and analysis, the Ministry has been in communication with researchers and relevant entities with the most promising outcomes of their potential COVID-19 vaccines.

"While the MoPH has already signed an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech to supply Qatar with their vaccine as soon it is ready and safe for use, we shall continue to discuss with other major companies in the field to secure the best options and enough quantities when possible and available," Dr Al Khal mentioned.

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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