Tribune News Network
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) will provide coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to everyone in Qatar who require them free of charge, a senior health official has said.
“Qatar is seeking to secure enough quantities of vaccination over a period of weeks and months... this is important for individual, public and community health,” Dr Abdullatif Al Khal, the Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation, told Qatar TV.
He said the MoPH was making great efforts to obtain the vaccine as soon as it becomes available and to gain precedence in this through contracts concluded with the producing companies.
“So far, there are very good indications. Pfizer, one of these companies that the Ministry of Public Health has signed an agreement with, is doing well. It is very much possible that its vaccine will be approved by the end of October or in November,” he said.
Dr Khal said if the vaccine is approved based on the results of clinical trials that are now being conducted on 44,000 people in a number of countries of the world, and if it proves its effectiveness and that it is safe, then it will be approved and exported to several countries, including Qatar.
“We hope Qatar will get to obtain the first quantities of the vaccine at the end of the year or early next year.”
He said the ministry has contacted pharmaceutical companies known for their distinguished products in initial trials, and that their medicines are safe and effective.
"Discussion is continuing with a number of companies," he added.
Dr Khal said Pfizer will produce 100 million doses of the vaccines initially and will be shipped to many countries.
It will produce one billion doses in 2021. Qatar is hoping to buy the vaccines as soon as possible and in the largest quantity possible.