His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, today opened a new COVID-19 vaccination center at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) as Qatar expands its National COVID-19 Vaccination Program.
Operated by Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), the first phase of the vaccination center will focus on vaccinating teachers and school administration staff, in addition to other essential workers and members of the public who meet the eligibility criteria.
“So far in our National COVID-19 Vaccination Program, our efforts have focused on vaccinating our most at-risk populations: our elderly, those with severe chronic conditions, healthcare workers and other essential workers. The addition of this new vaccination center will enable us to increase our capacity to vaccinate even more essential workers and open more opportunities for the general public to be vaccinated when their turn comes. For now, we urge everyone who is high risk or over 60 years of age who has not yet been vaccinated to make an appointment for the vaccination,” said Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health.
Dr. Mariam Abdulmalik, Managing Director of PHCC explained: “To ensure the safety of the community and a smooth and efficient process, invitations for appointments will be delivered in a phased and efficient approach. Teachers and school administration staff will receive an SMS inviting them to attend the vaccination center during dedicated time slots. Vaccinations will be administered only to those that have received an invite; others are requested to wait until they receive an SMS invite.”
She explained that the vaccination process remains the same, with the vaccine administered in two doses, three weeks apart at the QNCC vaccination center. Visitors should carry a valid health card when attending and are requested to continue following standard preventive measures, including masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.
The MOPH also announced today that fully vaccinated citizens and residents of Qatar are now exempt from quarantine requirements following travel abroad and following exposure to a COVID-19 positive case.
“To qualify for quarantine exemption, 14 days must have passed after receiving the second dose and a negative PCR test is required on return to Qatar following travel or following exposure. The quarantine exemption is valid for a period of three months, starting 14 days after the second dose, and this may be extended in the future with the availability of more clinical evidence. The exemption does not currently apply to people vaccinated in other countries,” explained Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation.