The third dose of Covid-19 vaccine is administered only by appointment, Dr Soha al-Bayat, head of vaccination at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), told Qatar TV Monday. The Primary Health Care Corporation has a list of the beneficiaries and will contact them accordingly, she explained. Since the designated quantities of vaccine would be pre-allocated due to the special storage requirements, no walk-in clients will be entertained.
"The third dose of Covid-19 vaccine is important for certain categories of people to provide them with further protection against the disease after the passage of eight months of taking the second dose, as subsequently the level of desired immunity drops," the official pointed out.
The currently targeted and qualified categories of people for the third dose include those over-50 with chronic diseases that undermine their immunity, in addition to those with weakened immunity, severe diseases, and the frontline health professionals who interact directly with the public.
Regarding those who have contracted Covid-19 after taking the two doses of the vaccine and recovered, Dr al-Bayat explained that there is no recommendation for them to take the third booster dose according to the latest scientific findings and studies in the field. "There is no problem in taking both the Covid-19 vaccine and the seasonal influenza vaccine at the same time because both are completely different in all aspects," the official asserted.
Taking the seasonal influenza vaccine is very important for many people and it would provide them with the due protection against any potential severe symptoms, Dr al-Bayat added. Dr Hanadi al-Hamad, medical director of Rumailah Hospital and Qatar Rehabilitation Center at Hamad Medical Corporation and Leader of the Health Aging Priority in the National Health Strategy, told Qatar TV that it has proven that the Covid-19 vaccines given in Qatar protect people against all the different variants and mutations of the new coronavirus, including the delta variant, which spread more quickly and is more dangerous for the elderly people.
"So far only a small number of the elderly people in Qatar have taken the third booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, but the reported side effects so far are not different from those of the previous two doses and often disappear within a couple of days." Dr al-Hamad also noted that the latest studies have proven that the vaccine has no complications with the medications that many people suffering from different diseases often take.