Qatar looks to "significantly expand" its Covid-19 vaccination programme and include more people in the inoculation drive, a senior health official has said.
"With the initial imported supply of vaccines limited, the early stages of our National Vaccination Programme focused on protecting members of our community who were most at risk from severe complications due to Covid-19," said Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, chair of the National Health Strategic Group on Covid-19 and head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation. "We have recently received a regular supply of the vaccine, more than before, and with the availability of the Moderna vaccine along with the Pfizer vaccine, we can significantly expand the scale of our vaccination programme and open the eligibility criteria to include more people in line with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH)'s Strategic Vaccination Plan against Covid-19."
The MoPH has lowered the age threshold for Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to 50 years. The change comes as the MoPH ramps up the National Strategic National Vaccination Plan against Covid-19 and to expand the programme to include more vaccinated people in the country, Qatar News Agency reported on Wednesday.
The current priority groups for Covid-19 vaccinations are as follows:
1. People aged 50 years of age and above regardless of their health conditions
2. People with moderate chronic medical conditions of any age.
3. Additional healthcare professionals and other key workers in different ministries and government institutions, including teachers and administration staff in the education sector.
Dr Mariam Abdulmalik, managing director of Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), said: "People who are eligible for the vaccine at this stage will be contacted directly by the PHCC through SMS or phone call to arrange their appointment. Those who meet the criteria for the first priority groups can also request to schedule an appointment website to take the vaccine via the MoPH Covid-19 website. People who register online but who are not in one of the listed priority groups will have their interest recorded and saved by the MoPH, and they will be contacted when they become eligible."
Dr Abdulmalik added that vaccination at health centres and the Qatar National Convention Centre vaccination facility will only be given to people with pre-arranged appointments. All other community members who do not meet the criteria for the early phase of the campaign are "kindly requested to wait until their turn comes", the report adds.
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