* Covid-19 vaccine only for citizens and residents, not visitors
People who have been infected with Covid-19 have to complete 90 days to get vaccinated, a senior official of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has said.
“People who test positive for Covid-19 have to wait for 90 days from the first day of infection to get vaccinated," Dr Soha al-Bayat, head of vaccination at the MoPH, said during an Instagram question-and-answer session.
She also noted that visitors to the country will not be given Covid-19 vaccination as only citizens and residents are eligible for the vaccine in Qatar currently.
“As of now, we are giving the vaccine only to the citizens and residents of the country and no visitors will be given the vaccination,” Dr al-Bayat said.
According to Dr al-Bayat, the Covid-19 vaccination is not mandatory for travel to Qatar but might be needed for travel to some places as Saudi Arabia has advised people travelling for Umrah to get vaccinated.
On the differences between the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, she said: “Qatar has signed agreements for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. We have already started with the Pfizer vaccine while Moderna is expected to arrive in the country within several weeks. The major difference between them is the storage requirement and in the time of the second dose.
"The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine is given after 21 days while it is a 28-day gap for the Moderna vaccine.”
“So far, there has been no serious side effects of any sort for those who have taken the vaccination," she continued. "All the side effects were very mild and did not last beyond 24 hours. These were mild headache or body temperature or mild tenderness and itching in the injection area."
Dr al-Bayat highlighted that there was no issue with the capacity of facilities in the country to treat Covid-19 patients. “Ever since the pandemic started, Qatar has expanded medical facilities all around the country and increased the number of beds and intensive care units. We never reached the full capacity. We have never had any capacity issues from Day 1,” she pointed out.
In the first phase of vaccination, one category of people are those who suffer from chronic illness with complications such as renal issues or other major problems. People who are suffering from hypertension or diabetes but are stable may not be included
in the first stage of vaccination, she added.