The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has urged all residents and citizens over 60 years of age to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible
National Health Strategy 2018-2022 Lead for Healthy Ageing Dr. Hanadi Al Hamad said that the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Qatar has sadly resulted in four deaths of people over 60 years of age in the past few days.
She added that it was important for people over 60 to get vaccinated against COVID-191, saying: "I urge all residents and citizens over 60 years of age to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. Since the start of the pandemic more than 12 months ago it has been clear that age is the biggest risk factor for COVID-19."
In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), she said people over the age of 60 have a significantly higher risk of developing severe complications and even death due to the virus. "I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is for older people to get their vaccine. Now that we have an approved and effective vaccine, elderly citizens and residents have the opportunity to become protected and live free from the threat of this virus."
How important is it for people over 60 to get vaccinated against COVID-19?— وزارة الصحة العامة (@MOPHQatar) February 15, 2021
Dr.Hanadi AL Hamad,
Medical Director of Rumailah Hospital and Qatar Rehabilitation Institute pic.twitter.com/NHMkcoOwed
Asked whether MOPH's recent announcement of an increase in ICU admissions due to COVID has affected older people, Dr. Hanadi Al Hamad said: "In recent weeks we have seen a significant increase in the number of people requiring admission to ICU due to severe complications from COVID-19. As many elderly people have existing long-term medical conditions, they are more susceptible to severe complications and so they account for a large proportion of COVID-19 related ICU admissions."
Regarding any long-term effects of COVID-19 on the elderly, she said: "Due to their increased vulnerability and often weakened immune systems, the elderly are more susceptible to long-term complications due to COVID-19. Even if they recover from their immediate severe symptoms, many elderly people experience what is known as 'long-covid'. Symptoms of long-covid can last several weeks or months and include extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, and problems with memory and concentration. The COVID-19 vaccine helps to protect people from these long-term symptoms, and this is why it is so essential for older people to get vaccinated."
Are you seeing any long-term effects of COVID-19 on the elderly?— وزارة الصحة العامة (@MOPHQatar) February 15, 2021
Dr.Hanadi AL Hamad,
Medical Director of Rumailah Hospital and Qatar Rehabilitation Institute pic.twitter.com/kGTHdJH06j
Replying to a question on the role of children of older parents and grandparents, she said: "I encourage children of older parents and grandparents to take time to talk to their elderly relatives about the importance of the vaccine. We know that some older people are still reluctant to take the vaccine - even though we now have a huge amount of evidence here in Qatar which proves beyond doubt that the vaccine is completely safe. I urge everyone who has elderly relatives to take time out to speak with them to help them overcome their fears about the vaccine and to support them in getting an appointment with their local health center without delay."
Source: Qatar News Agency
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