Third COVID-19 vaccine dose safe and effective: Health official

Third COVID-19 vaccine dose is safer and effective against all strains of the coronavirus, a senior health official has said.

“Recent clinical experiments have shown that the side effects from the third dose are similar or may be less than the side effects after the second dose, so there is no need to worry about taking the booster shot,” said Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19.

Speaking in a Qatar TV programme yesterday, Dr. Al Khal urged the people who are eligible for the third dose to take the vaccine on time without hesitation. “Scientific evidence shows that the level of antibodies begins to decrease 8 months after taking the second dose. This is why the Ministry of Public Health decided to give the booster dose.”

He said many countries have decided to give the third dose, and all countries are expected to follow the same approach. “It is expected that the booster dose will give a long-term protection that may extend to many months, or up to a year. It has been clinically proven that those who take the third dose have more antibodies than they had after the second dose.”

He said the third dose gives a strong boost of immunity from the virus, especially after the spread of the highly contagious Delta strain. 

“The scientific laboratory studies have proven that the immunity achieved after the third dose is very effective against all strains, including the Delta strain.”

He urged people to take the vaccine seriously because some patients with severe cases of COVID-19 in hospitals and ICUs were found unvaccinated. Dr. Al Khal also said the preventive measures are still necessary and urged people to adhere strictly to them.

“I would also like to remind everyone the importance of preventive measures, because although most people from the population are vaccinated, the Delta strain has the ability to infect even the vaccinated people.” He said many countries are still witnessing severe cases of COVID-19, so the people should be careful to avoid a third or fourth wave in Qatar.

“Qatar’s National Vaccination Program is very successful. We were able in a short period to cover the majority of the population, as 77% of the population has so far taken two doses of the vaccine and 9 out of 10 people have taken at least one dose,” said Dr. Al Khal.

Meanwhile, Ehteraz application has been updated with the addition of a new feature showing the third dose details. On the vaccine page of the application, it now shows the date of a person’s third COVID-19 vaccine dose. It also shows details of the first and second dose along with the “Vaccinated” stamp.

This update follows the recent announcement by the Ministry of Public Health regarding the COVID-19 vaccine booster dose which is set to be administered for all high-risk individuals who had their second dose of the vaccine more than eight months ago. The booster doses will be administered starting Wednesday, September 15, using Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

As seen on Peninsula Qatar  Image Credits Peninsula Qatar