The elderly should hurry to take the booster dose of the coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine, six months from the second dose, because their acquired immunity drops considerably, making them more vulnerable to contract the disease, urged Dr Hanadi al-Hamad, medical director of Rumailah Hospital.
Speaking to Qatar TV on Monday, she explained that for the booster shot, the elderly can either contact the home care centre, walk-in to the dedicated track at Rumailah Hospital, or opt for the dedicated tracks at the Primary Health Care Corporation health centres through calling the dedicated number.
Those elderly registered under home care service at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) can call the hotline 44390111 to get the booster.
The number to call for health centre appointments is 40277077.
The walk-in at Rumailah Hospital is open from 7am-10pm for the elderly and the phone number is 33253128.
Dr al-Hamad cautioned the elderly that if they contract Covid-19, it could be severe for them, and they could need special care and hospitalisation.
She stressed that the vaccine has been proven to be safe for all age categories, and that no cases in Qatar has been reported regarding severe side effects or a need for hospitalisation.
Also speaking to Qatar TV on Monday, Dr Jamila al-Ajmi, executive director of the Infection Control Department at the HMC, observed that though the Omicron variant is rapidly spreading, it is classified as a medium and mild virus.
"It is expected that the symptoms of those infected (with the Omicron variant) will remain moderate and mild due to the fact that the vaccination rate in Qatar is more than 85%,” she said. “If anyone feels symptoms similar to Covid-19 or has been in contact with an infected person, it is necessary to go to a health centre for examination and confirmation.”
"The nature of viruses is to constantly mutate, and the mutations depend on the procedures followed in countries and the rate of vaccination,” Dr al-Ajmi added. “The epidemic will end if the vaccination rate around the world reaches 70%.”