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Posted On: 21 December 2020 09:34 pm
Updated On: 21 December 2020 11:36 pm

[UPDATED] MOPH: COVID-19 vaccination in Qatar to start on December 23

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The Ministry of Public Health held a press conference Monday night to talk about the latest developments related to Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the vaccination protocols for the Covid-19 vaccine in Qatar.

According to MOPH, the first shipment of approved Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines will arrive at Hamad International Airport late tonight, Monday 21 December. Dr. Al Khal mentioned during the press conference that Qatar will start the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 on Wednesday, December 23.

The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine has been given emergency use authorization by both the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Control in the Ministry of Public Health and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Despite the speed at which the vaccine has been developed and tested, it has still followed a strict testing and approval process.

Several countries around the world, including the UK, US and Canada have approved use of the vaccine and begun their vaccination campaigns.

COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Qatar

According to MOPH officials, the first phase of the Covid-19 vaccination in Qatar will be from December 23, 2020 to January 31, 2021.

Qatar's vaccination strategy will enable everyone to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in 2021, but for now, with a limited quantity of vaccines, we must prioritize people most at risk from severe complications and death from the virus.

This includes people over 70 years of age, people with multiple chronic conditions and key healthcare staff working in close contact with COVID-19 patients.

The COVID-19 vaccines will be available at 7 primary health centers for people who meet the initial priority criteria.

The primary health centers are:

  • Al Wajba Health Center
  • Leabaib Health Center
  • Al Ruwais Health Center
  • Umm Slal Health Center
  • Rawdat Al Khail Health Center
  • Al Thumama Health Center
  • Muaither Health Center

Patients who have been selected will be contacted by phone/SMS to advise them of their selection for the vaccine and invited to attend an appointment at one of the 7 designated health centers.

The widespread uptake of COVID-19 vaccines throughout the population is the best hope of ending this pandemic and of life returning to normal.

COVID-19 updates

  • The Coronavirus pandemic is still spreading around the world and some countries are facing a new strain of the virus.
  • The pandemic is still spreading and active globally with a second and third wave in many countries but in Qatar, the situation is stable with around 150 cases of infection a day.
  • However, the virus is still active and spreading. It still is causing severe and critical cases. The death rate is fortunately still low.

COVID-19 vaccine

  • Under the direction of His Highness, the government of Qatar has sought, at an early date since the outbreak of the pandemic, to provide vaccination for citizens and residents.
  • Qatar is one of the first countries in the world to receive this type of vaccination against Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Dr. Abdul-Latif Al-Khal: The vaccine is considered safe and all the tests have been applied to it. The vaccine that will be used in the State of Qatar is by Pfizer and BioNtech, which gives a protection rate of 95%, and most of the side effects of the vaccination are usually mild and moderate.
  • Dr. Abdul-Latif Al-Khal: In the event of side effects, this is an indication of the body's response to the vaccination, and the vaccine is given in two doses, between them three weeks.
  • Dr. Al Khal said most of the reported side effects are mild such as headaches, local pain, a mild temperature that could last for up to three days if ever happened.
  • Dr. Hamad Al-Rumaihi: In 2021, we will have enough vaccines to vaccinate everyone in the State of Qatar.
  • Dr. Hamad Al-Rumaihi: The Pfizer and BioNtech vaccine is given in two doses to stimulate the immune response, so it is important for people to take the second dose at the specified time
  • Dr. Al Rumaihi: The vaccine is voluntary but the vulnerable categories are strongly advised to take it as it is safe.
  • The vaccine has been given to thousands of people in the UK with very limited and side effects other than the rare cases who have hypersensitivity. It doesn't affect the genetic structure of the body. This is a completely wrong conception.
  • Since the appearance of the virus, it has at least three genetic leaps. Which changed the way it spread and infect people but there is no evidence that the vaccine would not be effective in such cases.

New COVID-19 strain in the UK

  • The procedures for travelers coming from the UK are the same for all travelers and it is not in the green list of countries. Meanwhile, MoPH is closely monitoring the situation and would accordingly take the necessary procedures.

    The press conference was presided by Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation, Dr. Hamad Al Rumaihi, Director of the Health Protection and Communicable Diseases Control Department at Ministry of Public Health and Dr. Mariam Abdulmalik, the Managing Director of Primary Health Care Corporation.

    For more information visit or call the COVID-19 helpline on 16000.

    Sources: Ministry of Public Health; MOPH press conference broadcasted through Al Rayyan & Qatar Television

    Cover image: Al Rayyan TV