The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has taken to social media to spread awareness about the effects of Covid-19 on over-60s and the importance of vaccine uptake in that age group. This comes after the recent surge in infections has led to the death of four people (now five) in that age bracket in the last few days, according to Dr Hanadi Al Hamad, Medical Director of Rumailah Hospital and Qatar Rehabilitation Institute.
The awareness campaign centres around posters created in collaboration with the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC). These posters, which are shared on various social media platforms, take on a Q&A format showing Dr Al Hamad’s answers to questions about the virus’s impact on the elderly.
In one of the graphics, Dr Al Hamad states that prevention efforts among the elderly are vital, as she says that age has been shown to be “the biggest risk factor” for complications from the virus. According to her, this is because older adults are more likely to have weaker immune systems as well as chronic conditions that affect their bodies’ response to the illness. As well as death, Dr Al Hamad says that over-60s are also more likely to suffer from “long Covid”, a condition where symptoms persist several weeks or months after clearing the infection. Common long Covid symptoms include fatigue, memory problems, and chest pain.
As a result of these factors, Dr Al Hamad urges all residents and citizens over 60 to get vaccinated. She says that there is overwhelming evidence to show that the vaccines available here are “completely safe”.
But her message is not just for the elderly—Dr Al Hamad is also calling on younger people to do their part. She says: “I urge everyone who has elderly relatives to take time out to speak with them to help them overcome their fears about the vaccine and to support them in getting an appointment with their local health centre without delay.”