As part of the national efforts to protect vulnerable population groups from COVID-19, the Home Healthcare Services (HHCS) of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is running a vaccination drive to serve older adults and other vulnerable home-bound patients. 

The vaccination programme, which provides booster dose as well as educational support, is a continuation of the successful programme that commenced in February 2021.  The programme,  initiated by Dr Hanadi Al Hamad, National Lead for Healthy Ageing in Qatar and Medical Director of Rumailah Hospital and Qatar Rehabilitation Institute, was aimed to facilitate the vaccination of people ‘less able’ to make the journey to a vaccination centre.

Vaccines and health literacy

Dr Al Hamad, a leading advocate of healthcare and health literacy among the elderly, said their teams also provide support to educate vulnerable patients, their families and caregivers on how to protect themselves from the virus.

One of the best ways for us to communicate with our patients is through the healthcare teams that work closely with each patient and their family as they have the best interest of their patients at heart.

Immunity from infection diminishes in people six months after the second dose, placing them at increased risk of getting very ill if infected. Therefore, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) is urging individuals who have had their second dose of the vaccine over six months ago to get their booster dose promptly.

HHCS Medical Director and Deputy National Lead for Healthy Ageing Dr Essa Mubarak Al Sulaiti, explained the need to address people’s vaccine related concerns.

He said that the home healthcare teams play a vital role in Qatar’s National COVID-19 Vaccination Program which has seen more than nine out of ten older people receive two doses of the vaccine. An increasing number of booster doses are also being administered every day to this vulnerable population group.

We encourage our home healthcare teams to talk with patients and their families and explain the vaccination process and the clear evidence that underpins the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine. This has been helpful in addressing people’s questions and we have seen a promising uptake on vaccination rates.

Ramping up vaccination drive for home-bound patients

The HMC Home Healthcare Services are ramping up their vaccination drive in patient homes. This approach has worked extremely well when the homecare vaccination programme was first introduced about a year ago, as community confidence grows.

Nadya Al-Anzi, Executive Director of Nursing for the Private Nursing Service and Home Healthcare Service at HMC, said that the multidisciplinary approach between doctors, nurses and allied health professionals has benefited the vaccination programme.

The teams that visit a patient at home are tailored to the needs of that patient. If it is a routine vaccination, then our expert nurses will take the patient’s vital signs before administering the vaccine and will then monitor the patient afterwards to ensure no significant adverse reactions arise.

She added that where more medical supervision is considered necessary, a doctor will participate in the vaccination process to ensure optimal safety precautions are taken.

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