The Ministry of Public Health has approved the use of a fourth vaccine dose of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for individuals at high-risk of severe infection.
The fourth dose is only applicable to individuals 60 years of age and older and those with chronic diseases that increase their risk for severe COVID-19 infection, regardless of their age. The fourth dose will be offered to these individuals after four months from their booster dose (third dose) or COVID-19 infection.
The Ministry’s approval is in line with the latest scientific and clinical evidence showing the protective immunity obtained from the third booster dose, or recovery from infection, begins to decline in these vulnerable individuals after four months.
The Ministry stated that these individuals are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness based on local and international clinical evidence and they will benefit from a fourth dose which will increase their immunity and protection against COVID-19. Many countries around the world are offering a fourth dose to their vulnerable population.
The Ministry stated that individuals who are most vulnerable to severe infection and eligible for the fourth dose include those who:
- Are 60 years old or above
- Are receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Have received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Have received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Have advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Are receiving active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress the immune response such as tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory
- Have chronic medical conditions such as asplenia and chronic renal disease
Individuals who are eligible for the fourth vaccine dose will be contacted directly by Primary Health Care Corporation or by a member of their specialist care team at Hamad Medical Corporation to schedule a vaccination appointment. Eligible individuals can also call the PHCC hotline on 4027 7077 to schedule an appointment and walk-in appointments are available for this patient group.