WATCH: MoPH to administer COVID-19 booster doses from today

WATCH: MoPH to administer COVID-19 booster doses from today

By QLNews

Qatar marks a new phase in its National COVID-19 Vaccination Program today as the country’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) is set to begin administering the COVID-19 booster dose to priority groups.

The third dose of the COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) will be administered to all eligible population, however, currently people over 65 years of age, those with chronic conditions, and frontline healthcare workers are being prioritized.

In an interview with Qatar Television yesterday, Dr Soha Al Bayat, Head of the Vaccination Department at MoPH, assured that the booster shot is proven to be safe and effective and does not have side effects any different from those observed following the first and second doses.

On Saturday, MoPH announced that it will begin giving the booster dose from Wednesday, September 15, 2021, to high-risk individuals who got their second shot of the COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) more than eight months ago.

Dr Al Bayat also underlined that the flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be safely taken at the same time.

“Clinical experience has shown that it is safe for people to receive the seasonal influenza and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time. The latest clinical evidence shows there is no increased risk of side effects when having the two vaccine doses at the same time and it does not affect the efficacy of either vaccine,” she said in a message posted on MoPH’s Twitter page.

“This is good news for people at high-risk of severe COVID-19 infection who are eligible for their COVID-19 vaccine booster dose. These individuals can safely receive their COVID-19 booster vaccine and annual influenza vaccine on the same appointment,” she added.

Last month, the Ministry began administering a third dose of these vaccines to people with specific immunodeficiency diseases. People under this categorization are at a higher risk of developing serious, prolonged illness if they contract COVID-19 as they may not get the same level of immunity after receiving two doses of the vaccine, in comparison to people who do not suffer from immunodeficiency, the Ministry had explained.

The first few months of the booster program will focus on people most at risk of severe infection, including those over 65 years of age and those with chronic conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19, in addition to frontline healthcare workers and other sectors.

People who receive the booster dose will get the same vaccine they had gotten for their first two doses. At present, the only two vaccines for which booster doses will be given are Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

All those eligible to receive the booster dose will be contacted by the Primary Health Care Corporation to set a vaccination appointment.

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