* People above 30 to be eligible for Covid-19 vaccine after Eid al-Fitr holidays
* Parents can register children for vaccine through MoPH website from Sunday
* Quarantine exemption for the fully vaccinated extended from 6 to 9 months
Children aged from 12-15 years are to be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Qatar, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has announced.
In a statement on Wednesday, the MoPH also announced that the validity of quarantine exemption (for all vaccines administered in Qatar) will be extended from the previously approved six months to nine months. Besides, the ministry confirmed that all people over 30 years would be eligible to receive the vaccine after the Eid al-Fitr holidays.
Offering the vaccine to 12-15-year-olds in Qatar will help ensure a return to greater normalcy when the school year starts this coming September, the statement notes. Parents will be able to register their children to take the vaccine through the MoPH website (www.moph.gov.qa) from Sunday, May 16, after which they will be contacted by the Primary Health Care Corporation.
The move to extend the opportunity to children aged from 12-15 years to take the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine comes shortly after Pfizer said its study of the vaccine’s use in participants of this age group found that it was "safe and extremely effective in preventing Covid-19 cases". Also, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for 12-15-year-olds in the US.
In addition to this, following a range of global studies looking at the effectiveness of the vaccine, the MoPH has also announced that the validity of quarantine exemption - for all vaccines administered in Qatar - will be extended from the previously approved six months to nine months with effect from Wednesday.
The extension means that vaccinated people will have longer to take advantage of the additional privileges announced through the 'Lifting of Restrictions' plan published earlier this week.
It also means that fully vaccinated people are exempt from quarantine requirements following travel abroad (except for six specific countries) and following exposure to a Covid-19 positive case for a period of nine months – starting 14 days after receiving the second dose.
Yesterday’s news comes following Qatar's announcement that more than half the eligible population has been vaccinated with at least one vaccine dose, as well as setting out a route map to the gradual lifting of restrictions.
Speaking on yesterday's announcement, Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, chair of the National Health Strategic Group on Covid-19 and head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation, said: “We now have very strong scientific evidence that shows that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective for 12-15-year-olds and we want to ensure that every child in this age group has the opportunity to get vaccinated soon.
“Getting our young people vaccinated will not only protect them against the virus but will also give us the opportunity to have less restrictions in schools in the future and may significantly reduce the interruptions to the education system that we have seen at times during the pandemic. It will also allow our younger people to have greater freedoms to socialise and participate in activities going forward.
“Global evidence is also clear that the protection the Covid-19 vaccines provide is lasting beyond six months, which is very encouraging news for everyone. The announcement extending the validity of the vaccine from six to nine months should give everyone much greater piece of mind.”Last updated: May 12 2021 10:07 PM
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