The Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use by the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Control in the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). The MOPH approval of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine follows similar approvals in other countries including the United States and United Kingdom.
According to MoPH website, initially, vaccines will be prioritised for three key population groups: older people, people with certain chronic conditions and key healthcare workers.
Evidence from both here in Qatar and around the world clearly shows that the risk of developing severe complications due to Covid-19 increases with age. People over 65 years of age have a higher risk of severe illness and death.
People with chronic conditions:
People with certain long-term chronic medical conditions, including diabetes, asthma, and heart disease, or compromised immune systems, have an increased risk of developing severe complications as a result of Covid-19, regardless of their age.
Healthcare workers, especially doctors, nurses and paramedics working directly with Covid-19 patients, have an increased risk of being exposed to Covid-19 and catching the virus and becoming sick. Additionally, healthcare workers who catch the virus can spread it to their patients, many of whom may be at increased risk of severe complications due to chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
Q. When will the vaccines be available in Qatar?
A. The Ministry of Public Health has signed two agreements with leading international pharmaceutical companies to procure their Covid-19 vaccines as soon as they are approved and released for global use. These agreements are with Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech.
The Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use by the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Control in the Ministry of Public Health. Their review showed that the vaccine is safe and effective in accordance with international standards. The MOPH approval of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine follows similar approvals in other countries including the United States and United Kingdom. The approval of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine means there is good reason to be optimistic that the Covid-19 vaccines can enable life to return to normal sooner rather than later.
Q. Will the Covid-19 vaccines be available for everyone in Qatar?
A. Qatar aims to procure sufficient quantities of the Covid-19 vaccines to vaccinate every citizen and resident in the country. However, certain population groups are at higher risk of severe Covid-19 complications and therefore they will be given priority to ensure early access to the vaccines when they are available.
Q. I am young and healthy so why do I need the Covid-19 vaccine?
A. Young and healthy people may be at low risk of developing serious complications from Covid-19 but they have the same risk of catching the virus as other people and they can then transfer the virus onto more vulnerable people including elderly relatives. Taking the vaccine is as much about protecting others as about protecting yourself.
Q. Is the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine approved for children?
A. No. The trials of the vaccine have focused on safety and efficacy of the vaccine for adults and the MOPH’s Pharmacy and Drug Control Department has currently approved its use only for people aged 16 years and older.
Q. Can people with allergies have the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine?
A. People with a significant history of allergic reactions will not be given the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine. Anyone with an allergy should discuss this with the doctor before receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.
Q. The Covid-19 vaccines are being developed and tested very quickly – will they be safe?
A. Yes. Despite the speed at which the Covid-19 vaccines are being developed and tested, they are still following a strict testing and approval process. It is important to note that the whole world is committed to finding a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine and never before has so much effort and resources been put into the development of a vaccine.
Q. Will life return to normal once the Covid-19 vaccines are available in Qatar?
A. 2020 has been a difficult year for people around the world and Covid-19 has impacted many aspects of daily life. The arrival and widespread uptake of the approved Covid-19 vaccines among Qatar’s population will hopefully enable us to return to our pre-Covid-19 lifestyles.
Q. Will the Covid-19 vaccines be free for citizens and residents of Qatar?
A. Yes. Qatar will provide the Covid-19 vaccines to citizens and residents free of charge.
Q. Do I need the Covid-19 vaccine if I have already had the virus?
A. Yes. Covid-19 is still a relatively new and unknown virus and while research to date indicates that people who have been infected with Covid-19 build up natural immunity it is unclear how long this immunity last for and how effective it is.
Q. What can I do to protect myself and others while we await the Covid-19 vaccine?
A. As we await the approval and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines it is very important that people follow basic preventive measures to protect themselves and those around them from the virus: wear a mask as advised; maintain social distancing; avoid large gatherings of people; and wash hands regularly.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Qatar partakes in meeting of BIE
Qatar reiterates two-state solution for lasting peace in Middle East
Credit Suisse to set up Global Tech Innovation Centre in Doha
Doha Bank participates in beach cleanup
Traffic shifts to two lanes on Al Wukair Road
Temporary closure of right turn on Al Sadd Intersection
Shaheed Sheikh Russel Day observed in Doha
QNRF plays key role to raise Qatar's profile as research hub
QU’s new building wins prestigious international award