Hamad Medical Corporation launches an initiative to provide high-risk people with Covid-19 vaccine booster shots at home.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced that more than 125,000 Covid-19 booster shots have been administered in the past week alone, due to the increase in demand for the vaccine dose.
The Ministry’s keenness on delivering large amounts of booster shots has intensified in response to the surge in infections the country has seen in the past month. In a bid to control the third wave hitting Qatar, MoPH have announced that Covid vaccine boosters can now be taken at home for certain demographics of the population, specifying those with an illness and the elderly.
Dr. Soha Al-Bayat, Head of Vaccinations at MoPH, highlighted the necessity for people to take the booster dose six months after their second vaccine shot.
She said, “There is clear evidence from multiple local and international studies showing that the protective immunity obtained from the first two doses declines six months after the second dose. The booster dose significantly increases the individual’s protection against COVID-19 and provides around 75% protection against mild to moderate infection, and more than 90% protection against severe infection or death.”
Qatar has been experiencing a startling spike in Covid-19 cases over the past few weeks after the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. On Wednesday 12 January, MoPH recorded 4,206 new infections, the highest number of Covid cases registered in Qatar since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
The health ministry has been urging citizens and residents to get their booster shots as soon as possible, assuring that the side effects of the third dose do not exceed those of the first or second.
Previously, Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, a senior health official, underlined that the booster dose greatly increase antibodies.
“The side effects, following the second dose, include pain in the place where the needle was injected, mild fever, headache, and fatigue. Some would have side effects for two-to-three days which immediately responded to Panadol. No severe side effects have been reported to the MoPH,” explained Dr. Al Khal.
Qatar Vaccination Centre, a facility specifically set up last week to cater for employees of large companies, has been administrating huge numbers of the booster shot. It has given out more than 100,000 doses since opening on 9th January.