The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced that at least 61% of people over 70 years old have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine since the start of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Program in Qatar.

Qatar Minister of Public Health, HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, said that she is encouraging the elderly and all those eligible to not delay their vaccination process.

Dr Hanadi Al Hamad, National Health Strategy 2018-2022 Lead for Healthy Ageing, explained that older people are at increased risk from COVID-19.

It is incredibly pleasing to know that six out of ten people over 70 years of age have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. Every day, more and more older people in Qatar are receiving their second vaccine dose and building their protection against COVID-19.

The protective effects of one vaccine dose have been supported by a recent study in the United Kingdom which found the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine to be very effective at preventing hospitalisations and ICU admission due to COVID-19 in people over 80 years old, after one dose.

According to Dr Al Hamad, people of all ages and health conditions can be infected with COVID-19, but since the start of the pandemic, it has been clear that older people are more vulnerable to severe complications from the virus.

This means that older people are more likely to require hospitalisation, including admission to intensive care units for life-saving treatment, than the younger age groups.

The majority of Qatar’s vaccinated elderly population have been vaccinated at one of the 27 Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) health centres. The PHCC is continuing to contact older people directly to schedule them for their appointments. Any citizen or resident over 60 years of age who has not yet been vaccinated and requires an appointment can call PHCC on 4027 7077.

In addition to elderly patients being vaccinated at health centres, more than 90% of elderly inpatients at Hamad Medical Corporation have already received their first vaccine dose.

Every day, the Home HealthCare Service teams are visiting elderly housebound patients in the comfort and safety of their homes to administer vaccines, explained Dr Al Hamad. She said that due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Qatar, it is vitally important that people over 60 years old get vaccinated as soon as possible.

More than 200 million vaccine doses have now been given to people across the world and the vaccine has displayed very high levels of safety and efficacy. People should not be worried about having the vaccine, they should only be worried about getting the virus.

Visit the MoPH website for more COVID-19 updates.  

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