Doha: The age threshold for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility will be lowered to 30 years from today. The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in a recent statement had said that all people aged over 30 will be eligible to receive the vaccine after the Eid holiday.
The change comes as part of the phased roll-out of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Program which continues to pick up pace and has now administered more than 2.1 million vaccines doses.
According to data released by the Ministry yesterday, as many as 36,626 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in 24 hours.
At present 53.8% of the eligible population has now received at least one dose of the vaccine. 89.2% of over 60s (the most vulnerable population group) have been vaccinated with at least one dose, while 83.7% have received both doses. The inclusion of people aged 30 and above in national vaccination programme will further increase number of vaccinated people in the country, giving mass protection to society.
The Ministry has also extended the validity for quarantine exemption of all vaccines administered in Qatar from the previously approved six months to nine months (except for travellers from six countries).
Meanwhile, children aged 12 to 15 years can be registered to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Qatar.
Parents are able to register their children to take the vaccine through the Ministry website, after which they will be contacted by the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC).
According to a US-based study the mRNA Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines which are available in Qatar should remain highly effective against two coronavirus variants first identified in India.
The lab-based study was carried out by the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Langone Center and is considered preliminary because it has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Researchers exposed the variant known as B.1.617.1 to blood serum samples from 15 volunteers with antibodies induced by the Moderna vaccine, 10 volunteers with antibodies after receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and 24 people with antibodies after recovering from COVID-19.
Based on lab experiments involving cell cultures, the B.1.617 and B.1.618 variants seem to be partially resistant to the antibodies elicited by vaccination, according to the study published online.
“Thus, there is a good reason to believe that vaccinated individuals will remain protected against the B.1.617 and B.1.618 variants,” the researchers from New York University wrote in their paper.