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Q1. Which vaccines are available in Qatar?

A. Qatar is currently administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. Both vaccines have been approved for emergency use by the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Control in the Ministry of Public Health. The MOPH approval of the Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna vaccines follows similar approvals in other countries including the United States and United Kingdom. Both vaccines are very similar, and people should not be concerned which vaccine they are given. 

Q2. What are the current groups eligible for vaccine?

A. All citizens and residents aged 12 years of age and above are eligible to take the COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of their health conditions.

Q3. I am young and healthy so why do I need the COVID-19 vaccine?

A. Young and healthy people may be at low risk of developing serious complications from COVID-19 but they have the same risk of catching the virus as other people and they can then transfer the virus onto more vulnerable people including elderly relatives. Taking the vaccine is as much about protecting others as about protecting yourself.​

Q4. Is the Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna vaccines approved for children?

A. MOPH’s Pharmacy and Drug Control Department has currently approved the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine for use only for people aged 12 years and older, and Moderna vaccine for people aged 18 years and over. ​ 

Q5. Can people who suffer from allergies take the vaccine?

A. Yes. Most people who suffer from allergies can take the Pfizer/BioNTech, and Moderna vaccines safely. However, people with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine should not take it.

During the pre-vaccination assessment carried out before each vaccination, the medical team will ask the patient about any allergies and discuss this with them. Everyone receiving the vaccines is monitored for a period of up to 15 minutes following the vaccination to ensure there are no adverse reactions.

Q6. The COVID-19 vaccines are being developed and tested very quickly – will they be safe?

A. Yes. Despite the speed at which the COVID-19 vaccines are being developed and tested, they are still following a strict testing and approval process. It is important to note that the whole world is committed to finding a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine and never before has so much effort and resources been put into the development of a vaccine. ​

Q7. Will life return to normal once the COVID-19 vaccines are available in Qatar? 

A. It has been a difficult year for people around the world and COVID-19 has impacted many aspects of daily life. The arrival and widespread uptake of the approved COVID-19 vaccines among Qatar’s population will hopefully enable us to return to our pre-COVID-19 lifestyles. ​

Q8. Will the COVID-19 vaccines be free for citizens and residents of Qatar? 

A. Yes. Qatar will provide the COVID-19 vaccines to citizens and residents free of charge. ​

Q9. ​Do I need the COVID-19 vaccine if I have already had the virus?

A. Yes. COVID-19 is still a relatively new and unknown virus and while research to date indicates that people who have been infected with COVID-19 build up natural immunity it is unclear how long this immunity last for and how effective it is. 

Q10. Are vaccinated people exempt from quarantine requirements?

A. Yes. Fully vaccinated people are now exempt from quarantine requirements following travel abroad and following exposure to a COVID-19 positive case. The quarantine exemption criteria for returning travelers can be found here​.​

Q11. How can eligible people get a vaccination appointment?

A.  Register for your vaccination appointment in one of the following ways:
  1. MOPH Online Registration: Register your interest via the vaccine registration page on the MOPH website. You will be contacted when an appointment is available.
  2. Contact PHCC: If you have not received an invitation call from your health center, you can book your vaccination appointment by:
    • Contacting PHCC’s call center hotline on 40277077 during working hours.
    • Making an appointment via the PHCC Nar’aakom App.
    • Visiting your registered health center to make an appointment.
    • Call PHCC’s customer service team, Hayyak, on 107 for assistance.
  3. Via your employer: Speak to your employer about booking an appointment for you at the Qatar Vaccination Center for Business and Industry. Businesses can email the COVID-19 Vaccination Scheduling Unit via QVC@hamad.qa​

Q12. Are there any side effects of the vaccines?

A. Extensive clinical trials and real-life use of the vaccine on more than 200 million people around the world has shown the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to be safe. However, as with any vaccine, people may experience mild side effects including low-grade fever, mild headache, fatigue and soreness at the injection site.

Q13. How effective are the vaccines?

A. Extensive clinical trials on the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines show both vaccines are around 95 percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection after two doses.

Q14. Why is the quarantine exemption for vaccinated people only valid for 12 months?

A. The twelve-month exemption period has been set in line with recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and is based on current clinical evidence. As the COVID-19 vaccines are still relatively new vaccines ongoing work is underway to determine the full duration of the protection they offer.

Q15. Can people who undergoing home quarantine due to being in contact with a positive case receive the vaccine?

A. People undergoing home quarantine who have a vaccination appointment scheduled during their period of quarantine should contact PHCC on 40277077 to discuss rescheduling their appointment.

Q16. Is it possible that someone vaccinated against COVID-19 will still get infected?

A. No vaccine is 100 percent effective. Extensive clinical trials on the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines show both vaccines are around 95 percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection after two doses. This is a very high and encouraging efficacy level but there may still be a very small number of people who receive the vaccine and still become sick due to COVID-19.

Q17. Is it safe for pregnant women, those planning to become pregnant, and breastfeeding mothers to receive COVID-19 vaccines?

A. While there is no evidence to suggest the Pfizer/BioNTech, and Moderna vaccines are unsafe for pregnant or breastfeeding women, there is currently insufficient clinical evidence to confirm their safety. However, the decision to vaccinate these individuals is made on case by case basis. The physician will decide if the benefit of vaccinating the woman outweighs the potential vaccine risks i.e. if the women is having a healthy pregnancy with no high risk of exposure, it is recommended to postpone the vaccination.​

Q18. Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect the fertility of women or men?

A. There is no evidence, and no theoretical reason, that any of the vaccines can affect the fertility of women or men. People of reproductive age should get a COVID-19 vaccine when they receive their invitation, including people who are trying to have a baby or thinking about having a baby in the near future.

Q19. What is a booster COVID-19 vaccine dose? 

A. The Ministry of Public Health started administering COVID-19 vaccine booster doses for all individuals after six months from receiving their second COVID-19 vaccine dose.

The decision is in line with the recent clinical evidence supporting the additional protective effect of a booster dose and showing that for most people the protective immunity obtained from their primary vaccine series gradually starts to decline after six months.

Q20. ​Why is a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose needed?

A. It is clear from the latest clinical evidence that for most people the protective immunity obtained from the first two doses of the vaccine gradually begins to decline after six months. The booster dose will give people longer-term protection against all variants of COVID-19.​

Q21. ​Who is currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose?​

A.  ​Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) now offers COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to individuals after six months from receiving their second COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Q22. ​What is the process to make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose?

A.  ​Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) now offers COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to all individuals after six months from receiving their second COVID-19 vaccine dose. 

  • PHCC is contacting people who are eligible for the booster vaccine dose directly to set an appointment.
  • Anyone who is eligible and has not yet been contacted can call the PHCC hotline on 40277077 to schedule an appointment.
  • COVID-19 vaccination appointments can also be made via PHCC’s mobile app, Nar’aakom.​

Q23. ​How long is the period of is​olation for people who test positive for COVID-19? 

A.  ​The mandatory period of isolation and sick leave for confirmed COVID-19 cases is 7 days. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 on a test done at medical facilities and whose Ehteraz changes to red status, will automatically be eligible for 7 days sick-leave. These individuals will be required to have a rapid antigen test at a medical facility authorized by the Ministry on day 7. If the result of this test is negative, the individual’s Ehteraz status will change to green and they will be able to leave isolation and return to work on day 8.

If the day 7 rapid antigen test is positive, the individual must undergo a further 3 days of isolation and will be given additional 3 days of sick-leave and they are free to leave isolation on day 11 with no requirement for a further test.​​​​​​

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COVID-19 Services Assistant خدمة المساعدة الخاصة بكوفيد-19
COVID-19 Services Assistant خدمة المساعدة الخاصة بكوفيد-19