The growing number of Covid-19 cases among children in Qatar is due to several reasons, particularly the spread of the new mutated strains of the virus and family visits, a senior health official has said.
Dr Hamad al-Rumaihi, director of the Health Protection and Communicable Diseases Control Department at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), told Qatar TV Thursdaythat the cases could also be attributed to the fact that there is less adherence to the Covid-19 precautionary measures among children, especially maintaining a safe distance from others.
Besides, he added, children (under 16) are not yet eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, Dr al-Rumaihi said a person receiving one dose of the vaccine outside Qatar will be quarantined once s/he returns to Doha and there will be no exemption. "So, we recommend they complete the vaccination and then come to Qatar," he said.
“Every country has priorities in the vaccination programme. In Qatar, people who get one dose from abroad will be quarantined and not be exempted from quarantine," he said, adding: "If a person receives one dose abroad, it is possible for him/her to take the second dose in Qatar, but our current priority is for citizens and residents of the country."
Regarding vaccination for those who have recovered from Covid-19 infection, Dr al-Rumaihi said such a person can take the vaccine even though s/he has immunity for at least three months.
“The person can decide to get vaccination before the end of this period upon recovering from the infection and getting out of quarantine after two weeks. However, if this person has received plasma and was hospitalised, the vaccination should be postponed for three months," he said.
"Under the current protocol, the person can take two doses of the vaccine," Dr al-Rumaihi added, responding to a query on whether a recovered patient is to be given one dose or both doses of the vaccine.
He explained that some countries and studies say one dose is sufficient. “This is currently being studied," he said, noting that the current protocol provides for giving both the doses.