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Health Officials: Get Your Booster to Keep Covid Rates Down

by Tesneem Ayoub

Local health officials have been urging eligible individuals to book their booster shots this past week. This follows the Ministry of Public Health’s (MOPH) announcement on 14 November 2021 that all individuals who have received their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at least six months ago are now eligible to get a booster shot.

Less Immunity, More Cases

Dr Abdullatif Al Khal, the head of the infectious diseases division at Hamad Medical Corporation, stated earlier this week that Covid infections in individuals who got vaccinated more than six months ago have contributed to the slight uptick in cases in the last few weeks. “This is a reminder that the fight against Covid-19 is not over. I encourage anyone who got their second dose to get their booster vaccine without delay,” he added.

 

Still, Dr Al Khal, who also chairs the National Strategic Group on Covid-19, emphasised that Qatar’s high vaccination has been vital in keeping case numbers, hospitalisations, and deaths low so far. However, he said that booster doses are necessary to keep this up.

 

Dr Hamad Eid Al Romaihi, co-chairperson of the National Pandemic Preparedness Committee and director of Health Protection and Communicable Diseases at MOPH, agrees. He shared that current scientific evidence shows that protection from the Covid vaccine starts to wane after six months and that boosters help maintain it.

Where to Get Your Shot

The Public Health Care Corporation (PHCC) is currently contacting eligible individuals to book vaccine appointments at its centres. But if it’s your turn and you still haven’t received a call, then Dr Mariam Abdulmalik, PHCC’s managing director, encourages you to take matters into your hands. “Anyone who is eligible and has not yet been contacted can call the PHCC hotline on 4027-7077. Covid-19 vaccination appointments can also be made through PHCC’S mobile app, Nar’aakom,” she says.

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