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New virus variants more contagious, so get vaccinated: Dr Al Khal

New virus variants more contagious, so get 
vaccinated: Dr Al Khal

Tribune News Network
Doha
THE new variants of the coronavirus are more contagious and more serious, so it is more important than ever to get vaccinated, Dr Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19, has said.
Dr Al Khal said this in a social media message on Sunday as top health officials posted several such messages urging people to get vaccinated. All of them are unanimous in their call for people for getting inoculated.
“It is unfortunate that still there are people who are eligible for the vaccine because of their age or chronic disease and they have not come forward to get it. The new variants of the virus are more contagious and more serious, so it is more important than ever to get vaccinated. I would ask these people to think about the way in which the virus has negatively affected our lives for almost a year and a half and ask them to understand that the vaccines provide a route out of this pandemic,” Dr Al Khal said.
He also praised the overwhelming public response to the vaccination programme.
Dr Al Khal, who is also the Head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), said, “I am delighted by the overwhelming public response to the vaccination programme. Among our eligible population — 12 years and over — 7 out of 10 are now fully vaccinated and 8 out of 10 have received at least one dose.”
Dr Hamad Al Romaihi, Co-chairperson of the National Pandemic Preparedness Committee, said, “Thanks to the support of the community the vaccination campaign has been a great success to date, but we need one more push to ensure Qatar’s population is protected from any future rise in cases or new variants. The vast majority of eligible people have now received at least one vaccine dose, but the evidence is clear that the more people are vaccinated and protected from the virus, the greater our chances of winning the long-term battle against COVID-1 9. If you are not yet vaccinated, please act now.”
For her part, Dr Muna Al Maslamani, Medical Director of HMC’s Communicable Disease Center, said, “More than 2 million people have already been vaccinated in Qatar and this widespread vaccination coverage is helping to ensure that the number of new daily COVID-19 cases have remained consistently low in recent weeks.”
“The clinical evidence here in Qatar clearly shows that the vaccines are highly effective — there have been very few incidences in recent months where fully vaccinated patients have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Almost all patients admitted to hospital are either not vaccinated or have only had one dose. If you are not yet vaccinated, please play your part in beating COVID-19, helping us return towards normal life as soon as possible, and making Qatar a safer place to live for you and your family.”
Dr Mariam AbdulMalik, Managing Director of Primary Health Care Corporation, praised the vaccination drive.
“The vaccination programme continues to progress at pace, with over 20,000 people playing their part every day and coming forward for their COVID-19 vaccines. Almost 84 percent of people above 12 years have now received at least one dose, but there is a small minority of eligible people who have not yet accepted their invitations to get vaccinated. To ensure Qatar’s population is as protected as possible from COVID-19, we need as many people as possible to play their part and to get vaccinated. Please, get vaccinated; protect yourself, your loved ones and the community,” she appealed.