No serious side effects reported from 70,000 booster shots

Doha: The Ministry of Public Health has administered 70,000 doses of COVID-19 booster shots (third dose), an official said yesterday. No serious complications have been reported from the booster doses. 

“We have administered 70,000 doses of booster shots to people in the country. No one was admitted to hospital or died because of taking the COVID-19 booster shot,” said Dr. Yousef Al Maslamani, Medical Director of Hamad General Hospital.

Speaking in a Qatar TV programme yesterday, he refuted the rumours about the complications and serious side effects caused by the third dose of the vaccines.

“Since the emergence of the pandemic, we are transparent in providing accurate health information to people. 

The MoPH is the only reliable source of information about COVID-19 in the country, so the people should take any health-related information from it and not depend on rumours on social networking sites or other places,” said Dr. Al Maslamani. He said Qatar approved booster shots on the basis of scientific research, as antibodies against COVID-19 start decreasing 6 months after the second dose of the vaccine. 

“Some fully-vaccinated people were infected by the virus, but were not sick like those who were not vaccinated. Therefore we recommend people to take the third dose, so they develop additional antibodies,” said Dr. Al Maslamani.

To a question about the impact of booster shots on travel policy, he said: “We ensure protection of society by following precautionary measures such as masks and social distancing in addition to vaccination. Since there is third and fourth waves of COVID-19 spreading in the world, we do not want you to travel to another country without taking the booster dose.”

“We do not restrict people from travelling abroad due to not taking the third dose, but rather motivate and encourage people to take the third dose.”

He said the validity of the second dose on Ehteraz app by the decision of the Strategic Committee of MoPH extends to one year. “Exactly 12 months from the date of taking the second dose, the golden frame of Ehteraz will disappear, which means that the person no more has enough antibody to protect himself or community from the virus,” said Dr. Al Maslamani.