Doha, 24 Dec. 2020 (Qatar Tribune)
WITH the first phase of Qatar’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign continuing at a rapid pace, community dignitaries and senior officials of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) took the jabs on Thursday, the second day of the immunization program, to instil vaccine confidence among the people.
Qatari Businessmen Association Chairman HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, who stepped up to take the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, has urged the community to take the COVID-19 vaccine.“Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available – this includes a vaccine. The comprehensive clinical trial the Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine has undergone has demonstrated that it is safe and 95 per-cent effective,” said Sheikh Faisal.
“I have full confidence in this vaccine which is why I am taking it as early as possible.”Sheikh Faisal said the arrival of the vaccine and its roll-out was important step to returning to normal daily life as well as protecing our loved ones.“Vaccines are our best hope of ending this pandemic,” he said.
“It is important that we take strong steps so that we can protect ourselves and our families against COVID-19 and this includes taking the vaccine when it is available to us.
”Director of the Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health, Sheikh Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani commended Sheikh Faisal for being among the first to be vaccinated against COVID-19. “The arrival and widespread uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines here in Qatar will enable us to start the process of returning to our normal lives,” said Dr Al Thani.
“I commend Sheikh Faisal for demonstrating his commitment and taking the vaccine and I encourage members of the community to do the same.”Dr Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19, who took the vaccine, said, “The start of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign is a hugely significant moment for Qatar after what has been a very challenging year for everyone.”
Dr Al Khal added, “I have full confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage all those high-risk members of our community who are eligible in this first phase of the campaign to take this opportunity to protect themselves and get vaccinated.”
Sheikh Dr Mohammed Al Thani, who took the vaccine shot, said, “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 rather than later. To ensure this I ask you to take the vaccine when you are able to and also en-courage your vulnerable family members to as well.”
HE continued, “To ensure this, I ask you to take the vaccine when you are able to, and also encourage your vulnerable family members to do so as well.”Dr Hamad Eid Al Romaihi, co-chairperson of the National Pandemic Preparedness Committee and director of Health Protection and Communicable Diseases at the MoPH, also took the jab.
“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,” he said.
Dr Al Romaihi said, “This safe and effective vaccine has passed all trials and is approved by the European Union’s medicines regulator the European Medicines Agency, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the Ministry of Public Health’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.
Dr Soha Al Bayat, head of vaccination at the MoPH, took the vaccine and encouraged people to do so.“COVID-19 has made 2020 a difficult year for all of us. Now, we have access to the COVID-19 vaccine here in Qatar; we have the opportunity to start a gradual return to normal life and activities. The vaccine has undergone extensive testing to ensure it is both safe and effective. I encourage all who are eligible for the vaccine to take it when it is their turn.
”Dr Muna Al Maslamani, medical director of Communicable Disease Center at the Hamad Medical Corporation, too took the jab to encourage people to come forward to have the vaccine.“COVID-19 has impacted the lives of almost everyone in Qatar in some way. Lives have been lost and many people have been admitted to hospital with severe symptoms. The widespread uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine is our best chance to returning to normal life. It has been subjected to rigorous medical trials and has been shown to be safe and effective.
I urge you and your loved ones to take the vaccine when the opportunity comes,” she said.
Meanwhile, a number of community dignitaries who are prioritised for COVID-19 vaccine were among the first group of people who received the vaccine at Leabaib Health Center on the first day of vaccination programme. This group included former minister HE Ali bin Saeed Al Khayarin and former diplomat HE Sherida bin Saad Al Kaabi.
Qatar is one of the first countries in the world to provide a safe, effective and approved COVID-19 vaccine totally free to its population. Several hundred people were vaccinated against COVID-19 on the first day of the largest national vaccination programme in the history of Qatar.
“I would like to thank the wise leadership of our country and all healthcare officials for their efforts to provide COV-ID-19 vaccine to all citizens and residents in Qatar,” Al Khayarin said following his vaccination. “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 that of 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 and will serve the best interest of our community. I would like to thank all health-care workers, including doctors, nurses and administrative staff for their efforts, hard work and dedication in combating this pandemic,” he said.
Al Kaabi expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the wise leadership of the country for providing the vaccine to all citizens and residents and to the Ministry of Public Health for its efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19. “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 challeng-ing time,” Al Kaabi added.During the first phase of the campaign, vaccine will be pri-oritised for those most at risk of severe complications from the virus: people aged 70 years and older, those with multiple chronic conditions and health-care workers with repeated ex-posure to COVID-19.