Aspetar Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Hospital has launched a free coronavirus vaccination campaign targeting athletes based in Qatar.

The first 50 injections were given on 22nd February. The programme was approved through Aspetar Executives who worked with the Healthcare Authority to be make Aspetar a designated Vaccination Centre. Dr Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, Aspetar CEO, said:

 “We are committed to meet the vaccination needs of registered athletes and our staff as soon as possible. Thanks to our dedicated team, as this campaign would not be possible without the support of their tireless work across Aspetar, and that includes the many clinical providers and operations support who planned and executed the campaign.”

Dr Yorck Olaf Schumacher, Head of Infection Prevention and Control Committee at Aspetar, said: “The vaccination will not only prevent the Covid-19 disease in the vaccinated person but will also prevent its spread, i.e. a vaccinated person is highly unlikely to infect others. Thus, vaccinations are not only protecting the vaccinated persons but also the unvaccinated persons around them by reducing the circulation of the virus.”

Aspetar aims to vaccinate all Aspire Zone staff and all registered athletes and are currently focusing on the first and second division QSL/QFA clubs. The current vaccination plan already includes more than 2000 people, Dr Schumacher added:

“We will hopefully have completed the course of two doses for all Aspire Zone staff and the Qatar stars league and QFA by the end of March. As of March 4th we have already vaccinated most of Aspetar AZF staff and about 650 athletes, We currently have a capacity of around 120 vaccinations a day, which we are aiming to increase to more than 150 in the coming days.”

The Aspetar Covid19 response team, which already successfully planned and implemented the Covid-19 testing programme for QSL is in charge again, and athletes will be contacted and scheduled by the medical staff of their club.

The Aspetar vaccination programme team is composed of representatives of different departments at Aspetar: Dr Khalid Hassoun is in charge of the club and QSL liaison; Mr Ibrahim Al Hussein manages operations along with the Infection Prevention and Control team; Mr Chris Mengelt communicates with Aspire Zone, MOPH, and other external stakeholders; and Dr Yorck Olaf Schumacher is the medical lead and overall supervision for the programme.

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