The first batch of Covid-19 vaccine will arrive in Qatar Monday, HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani said in a tweet Saturday.
"Under the directives of His Highness the Amir, the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccine will arrive day after tomorrow, and I have directed the health sector to provide it to everyone according to health protocols. This is an important step on the road to containing the pandemic and gradually returning life to normal, and expressing our pride in the success of our plan to confront the disease, we renew our thanks to our medical teams and all those involved,” tweeted HE Sheikh Khalid.
بتوجيهات من سمو الأمير المفدى تصل بعد غد أول شحنة من لقاح كوفيد19، وقد وجهت القطاع الصحي بتوفيره للجميع وفق معاييرنا الصحية. هذه خطوة مهمة على طريق احتواء الوباء وعودة الحياة لطبيعتها تدريجيا، وإذ نعبر عن فخرنا بنجاح خطتنا لمواجهة المرض نجدد شكرنا لفرقنا الطبية وكل المشاركين فيها— خالد بن خليفة آل ثاني (@KBKAlThani) December 19, 2020
Meanwhile, Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, chair of the National Health Strategic Group on Covid-19 and head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation, had said in October that Qatar had signed agreements with Pfizer and BioNTech for their BNT162 mRNA-based candidate vaccine against Sars-CoV-2 as well as with Moderna, a Massachusetts-based biotech company.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have completed their clinical trials and have reported strong efficiency in producing antibodies against Covid-19. Both the vaccine makers have reported that their vaccines are 95% effective and safe for use among the wider population.
According to Dr al- Khal, The Ministry of Public Health has decided to provide the Covid-19 vaccine free of charge to all Qatar residents.
"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," Dr al-Khal had stated.
He also had noted "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.”
The testing process for both the vaccines follows very high safety and quality standards typically applied for vaccine development and has involved large number of participants.
A report from Washington, quoting US Army General Gustave Perna, said Moderna Inc and partners have begun distributing its Covid-19 vaccine with trucks expected to start rolling out to more than 3,700 US locations Sunday.
The second Covid-19 vaccine approved for use by US regulators will reach healthcare providers by as early as Monday, Perna said, adding that delivery of the first 20mn doses of vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer Inc could be pushed back until the first week of January.