The Covid-19 vaccine currently being administered in Qatar is safe for even those who have any food allergy, a top official of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said Wednesday.
"However, people who have allergic issues should consult their physician and confirm they are not allergic to any components of the vaccine,” said Dr Soha al-Bayat, head of vaccination, at MoPH.
She was answering a question at the weekly question-answer session on the Instagram account of the MoPH. The official took questions from the general public regarding Covid-19 vaccination and gave clarifications.
According to Dr al-Bayat, millions of people have been vaccinated around the world and there were no serious side effects.
“As for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, there has been only very mild side effects. No major or significant side effects were reported in Qatar too. Some had allergy to the components of the vaccine. Otherwise, no significant side effects,” she said.
“Most common is pain at the sight of the injection lasting for a few hours or up to 24 hours. Some had elevated temperature, while others had headache, but nothing beyond the first 24 hours,” continued the official.
Dr al-Bayat noted that the eligiblity criteria for the first phase of Covid-19 vaccination will be updated in the coming weeks taking various factors into consideration as well as the emerging scenario.
“We are in phase one of the vaccination campaign for Covid-19. Currently people who are 65 and above, those with chronic illnesses with complications, and frontline healthcare workers are eligible at this stage. In the coming phases we will expand it to other categories of people. The Ministry of Public Health will announce more details about expanding the vaccination as and when required,” she explained .
“Presently, we have signed agreement for Covid-19 vaccine with Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna. We have received the first batch from Pfizer while we are hopeful that we will receive the first batch from Moderna in the immediate future,” pointed out, the official.
She reiterated there are no vaccines available for people aged 16 and below at present.
“Clinical trials for the Covid-19 vaccine have been conducted among those above 16 years. So, it is approved for the age of 16 and above. Now more clinical trials are being done for those aged 12 and above. When we get sufficient data of its safety and effectiveness, and as more and more trials happen, other age groups will be included,” added the official.