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‘We are on our way to win the battle against COVID-19’

‘We are on our way to win the battle against COVID-19’

Tribune News Network
Doha
Dr Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Strategic Group on COVID-19, has said that Qatar is on its way to winning the battle against the pandemic.
He said the vaccines used in Qatar are among the best in the world and give high levels of protection. Dr Al Khal called on those afraid of the side effects of vaccination to take the jab as there is no medical direction not to take the vaccine.
“The situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in Qatar is improving. This improvement is reflected in all indicators monitored by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in the number of daily infections and the number of hospital and ICU admissions. All these numbers and other indicators at the end of the third week of lifting restrictions in the first phase indicated that the pandemic was controlled as per the plan. This is very reassuring and helps us to move to the second stage of lifting restrictions,” Dr Al Khal said during an interview with Qatar TV on Thursday.
He, however, said, “Going back on COVID-19 restrictions is possible as it happened before, when we entered the second wave of the pandemic several months ago and we had to go back and impose more restrictions. We managed to control the pandemic by imposing more restrictions in addition to expanding the vaccination programme.”
He continued, “We hope that we will not have to go backwards in imposing more restrictions, due to the high level of commitment of community members to the preventive measures and keenness to take the vaccination as soon as possible.”
Dr Al Khal said Qatar is moving in the right direction. “We are on our way to winning the battle against the COVID-19,” he said.
When asked about new waves of the virus, he said, “Based on the numbers, we are heading in the right direction. Although many countries with a high rate of vaccination began to witness an increase in infections, we in Qatar do not expect new waves because the vaccines used in the country are effective and are among the best in the world and provide very high levels of protection.”
He continued, “We hope, through vaccinations, that we are heading in the right direction and reach a stage in which the epidemic is very limited, does not pose a threat to public health and does not exceed limited cases.”
Dr Al Khal confirmed that there is no reason to delay vaccination because of the side effects.
“I advise everyone to take the vaccine and let their children (12-17 years) also get it as it has proven its effectiveness and safety,” he noted.
He also stressed that vaccination is very safe and called on those concerned about the side effects of vaccination not to pay attention to social media about these symptoms, noting that they are generally mild and not dangerous, and there is no real medical objection to taking the vaccination except for people who are allergic to the first dose of vaccination.
Regarding this allergy, Dr Al Khal said that the incidence of allergy from the first dose of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines (4-10 cases) in every million doses, and the vaccination is not considered a contraindication for people who are allergic to food or insects to take the vaccination.
“We have vaccinated hundreds of cases. In the hospital, they had no real reaction,” he added.
“I say to those who are afraid of the side effects of the vaccine that infection with the virus may be more severe, and in case of people with chronic diseases it may become even more severe. I can say that they are risking their lives and health as they leave themselves exposed to the virus,” Dr Al Khal said.