Doha: The arrival of a vaccine for COVID-19 in Qatar has brought a fresh hope that return to normal life is in sight. Top members of healthcare sector, noted personalities and senior officials were among first recipients of the vaccine, illustrating that the shots are safe and effective.
Former Minister of Public Health, H E Ali Saeed Al Khayarin got the first shot of the vaccine against COVID-19 yesterday. He was given the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech that is being distributed throughout the country.
After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, in a video message posted by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on social Media, he thanked the wise leadership and those in charge of health sector for providing the vaccine to citizens and residents.
“Trusting in God almighty and in the efforts being made by the health sector officials to protect our beloved country from this pandemic, I was keen to get vaccinated and fulfil my role in protecting my health and the community. Qatar has spared no effort to provide the best COVID-19 vaccines to its population and I’m confident this campaign will be a success,” H E Al Khayarin said.
A former diplomat H E Sherida Saad Jubran Al Kaabi also received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and encouraged public who are eligible to get vaccinated. He said, “I encourage all citizens and residents to get vaccinated as this can help protect the person who receives the vaccine, those around him, and the wider community from the virus. I would like to thank all healthcare workers for their efforts and dedication and wish everyone safety and health during this challenging time.”
A prominent Qatari citizen and businessman, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani has urged the community to take Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine after getting himself vaccinated.
“Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available — this includes a vaccine. The comprehensive clinical trial process undertaken on Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine has demonstrated that it is safe and 95 percent effective,” said Sheikh Faisal.
“I have full confidence in this vaccine which is why I am taking it as early as possible,” he added. Sheikh Faisal said that arrival of COVID-19 vaccine and its roll-out was important step to returning to normal daily life as well as protecting loved ones.
Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19, Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal got the first shot of COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday.
“The start of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Qatar is a hugely significant moment for Qatar after what has been a very challenging year for everyone. I have full confidence in safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Al Khal encouraging all those high-risk members of community who are eligible in first phase of COVID-19 vaccination campaign to take the opportunity to protect them and get vaccinated.
According to the Ministry of Public Health several other senior healthcare officials too have got vaccinated against COVID-19 including Director of Public at MoPH, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al Thani, Co-chairperson of the National Pandemic Preparedness Committee and Director of Health Protection and Communicable Diseases at MoPH, Dr. Hamad Eid Al Romaihi, Head of Vaccination at MoPH, Dr. Soha Al Bayat, Medical Director at Communicable Disease Centre, Dr. Muna Al Maslamani and Qatar’s National Health Strategy lead for Healthy Ageing and Medical Director of Rumailah Hospital Dr. Hanadi Al Hamad.
“The vaccine providers and regulators have worked hard to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine. The arrival and widespread acceptance and uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine here in Qatar will empower us to return to our pre-COVID-19 lifestyles sooner. To ensure this I ask you to take the vaccine when you are able to and also encourage your vulnerable family members to do,” said Dr Al Thani said after receiving the vaccine injection.
Dr Al Romaihi re-emphasised that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and passed all regulatory approvals.
“I am proud that Qatar is among the first countries in the world to provide a safe, effective and approved COVID-19 vaccine for its population. This safe and effective vaccine has passed all trials and been approved by the European Union’s medicines regulator, the European Medicines Agency, the United States Food and Drug Administration, and MoPH’s Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Control. With sufficient uptake of the vaccine in our community we can look forward to a gradual return to normal life.”
Qatar started the roll-out by vaccinating people of over 70 age and some healthcare staff on Wednesday. In the first phase of vaccination preference will be given to people over 70 years old, adults in chronic care and home care facilities, healthcare personnel most at risk of infection and people over 16 years of age with severe chronic diseases. The first phase of vaccination will continue until January 31.