Since the early days of the pandemic the Ministry of Public Health and key government partners have been working with several leading pharmaceutical companies around the world who are in the process of developing vaccines for COVID-19. This proactive approach to securing a COVID-19 vaccine has proved very effective and two agreements with leading international pharmaceutical companies have been signed to procure their COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are approved and released for global use.
The Pfizer and BioNTech, and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for emergency use by the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Control in the Ministry of Public Health. Their review showed that the vaccines is safe and effective in accordance with international standards. The MOPH approval of the Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines follows similar approvals in other countries including the United States and United Kingdom. The approval of the Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines means there is good reason to be optimistic that the COVID-19 vaccines can enable life to return to normal sooner rather than later.
Due to the comprehensive measures put in place by Qatar’s government, Qatar has recorded one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world. Yet despite this, the virus has negatively impacted the lives of almost everyone in the country. Elderly relatives have been more isolated from their families; children’s education has been disrupted; large-scale events such as weddings, and sports and entertainment events have been postponed; and many expatriate residents have been unable to return to their home countries to see family and friends.
Despite the implementation of standard preventive measures, including masks, hand hygiene and social distancing, no country has been able to completely eradicate COVID-19.
The approval of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, with widespread uptake throughout the population, is the best hope of ending this pandemic and of life returning to normal.