Vaccination campaigns were launched in Qatar at the end of last December, after a number of vaccines were approved in the world and proved their effectiveness and safety, and the Qatari health authorities authorized them for emergency use of the Americans’ Pfizer-Bionic and Moderna vaccines.
The first fruits of the vaccination campaigns were quickly embodied in the decision of the Ministry of Public Health to extend the period of exemption from the quarantine requirements for those who received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine after traveling abroad or contact with people infected with the virus to 6 months instead of 3, pending further exemptions and procedures for the gradual lifting of restrictions .
The national plan for vaccination against Corona developed by the Qatari Ministry of Health extends over the year 2021, but there are intensive efforts to accelerate the pace by providing the largest possible amount of vaccines, which will allow an increase in the number of daily vaccination doses, and thus a large proportion of the population will receive the vaccine by the summer.
Dr. Abdel-Wahab Al-Musleh, Advisor to the Minister of Health for Sports Affairs, confirmed that the only way to achieve herd immunity on a large scale is through vaccination campaigns, indicating that for this reason the Ministry of Health is currently focusing its efforts on delivering vaccines to everyone to vaccinate the population as soon as possible.
According To the World Health Organization, “Herd immunity” – also known as “population immunity” – is known as indirect protection against an infectious disease, which is achieved when a population acquires immunity from that disease, either through a vaccine or a previous infection. The World Health Organization supports achieving “herd immunity” through vaccination and not by allowing the disease to spread among any segment of the population, because of the unnecessary cases and deaths that may result from that.
The reformer told Al-Jazeera Net that according to the progress of the vaccination operations against the virus in the coming months, which will continue until the end of the year, according to the plan of the Ministry of Health that all residents of Qatar will be vaccinated by next October, and that this epidemic is eliminated and herd immunity is reached. In light of reaching 90% of the vaccines.
And he advised the need to continue adhering to all precautionary measures, and obtaining the vaccine at the present time, especially for those to whom the vaccination strategy developed by the Ministry of Health applies, as vaccination is safe and does not have any problems, as some say.
Al-Mosleh stressed that vaccination provides a lot of protection against exposure to a severe disease due to the Corona virus or death due to its complications, stressing that this is what the Ministry of Health aims to achieve, whether in terms of reducing severe disease cases that require hospitalization or at the level of reducing the number of deaths.
The advisor to the Minister of Health stated that scientists are still closely following the effectiveness of vaccination in protecting against mild illnesses or infection without symptoms, pointing out that the Qatari authorities’ decision to extend the exemption from quarantine for a period of 6 months instead of 3 for those who received the vaccination came based on the availability More medical information indicates that vaccines provide longer protection.
Exemption from stone
The Ministry of Public Health decided to extend the period of exemption from quarantine requirements for those who received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine after traveling abroad or contacting people infected with the virus, so that the exemption from quarantine becomes effective for a period of 6 months, starting 14 days after the second dose, instead of 3 Months.
It was also decided to allow unvaccinated children aged 16 years and under, whose parents had received full vaccination, to spend the quarantine period at home instead of the hotel upon their return from countries not included in the green list.
The exemption from quarantine does not currently apply to people who have received the vaccine in other countries.
In turn, Dr. Abd al-Latif al-Khal, head of the national strategy group to address the Covid-19 virus and head of the infectious diseases department at HMC, confirmed that in the event that larger quantities of vaccines are available faster than expected, it is hoped that a large proportion of the population will receive the vaccine during the coming summer.
Al-Khal explained that so far, more than 380,000 doses of the vaccine have been given to community members, since the start of the national vaccination program, pointing out that approximately 12% of the population of 16 years and over in the State of Qatar have received at least one dose of Vaccination yet.
He added that due to the opening of additional vaccination centers – including the vaccination center at the Qatar National Convention Center and the in-car vaccination center in Lusail – the Ministry of Public Health was able to expand the scope of the vaccination program by including more segments of the population within the groups that meet the requirements for vaccination. That those aged 50 years and over can currently receive the vaccine.
Al-Khal explained that the Ministry of Health has given priority to health workers to take the vaccine, due to the important role they are entrusted with in providing treatment to patients and ensuring the progress of health care, as more than 70% of health workers at HMC have been vaccinated so far, and more than 67% of health workers have been vaccinated. In primary health care, the vaccine was also provided to health workers in hospitals and private clinics.
The Ministry has also given priority to vaccinating teachers, as the percentage of teachers and administrators working in public and private schools has exceeded 45% so far, and the vaccination has been initiated for frontline workers in many ministries and state institutions, where imams, muezzins and workers have been registered. In mosques to receive the vaccine.
4 stages of vaccination
The national plan for vaccination against Corona is based on 4 phases: Where the first phase began before the end of last year, and will continue until March 31, and this phase targets the health care teams most at risk of infection with the virus, basic workers and first response teams, extended care and home care patients, and people aged 50 years and over, and half Teachers in the state.
As for the second phase – which will continue until June 30 next – it includes all health care teams not included in the first phase, essential workers in ministries and necessary industries, people aged 40 years and over, in addition to people in detention facilities, prisons and similar facilities, and workers. In these facilities.
The third phase – which will last until July 31 – is aimed at young people and children (when the Covid-19 vaccine is permitted for use in the age group). As for the fourth phase, it will continue until October 31, during which the vaccination process will be completed for all residents of the country who did not receive vaccination in the previous stages.