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Qatar Observes World Immunization Week

by Tesneem Ayoub

Qatar’s health bodies are participating in World Immunization Week, a yearly World Health Organization (WHO) initiative running this year between 24th April 2021 and 30th April 2021.

According to the WHO, the 2021 campaign provides an “unprecedented opportunity” to bolster public trust and support in vaccination.

This year’s campaign slogan, “vaccines bring us closer”, alludes to vaccines as a critical tool in the fight against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, the campaign’s webpage explicitly highlights the ways vaccination has “brought us closer” in the last two centuries by eradicating smallpox and stopping the spread of infections like polio.

The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) also used the occasion to highlight the successes of the current national Covid-19 vaccination programme. On Sunday, it announced that over 22.3% of the eligible population (507,743 adults over age 16) had now been fully vaccinated against the virus, with over a third receiving at least one dose.

In line with WHO’s aims, local health authorities took to social media to explain how vaccines work through posters and urged the public to learn about them from accurate sources. Dr Khalid El-Awad, Director of the Health Protection Department at Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), says: “We know that vaccines play an incredibly important role in supporting people’s health and saving lives. For this reason, it is important that people receive information related to vaccines only from official sources as there is a lot of misleading and incorrect information circulating on the internet and social media.”