Experienced teams visit elderly or bed-bound patients to answer patient and family questions and offer medically supervised COVID-19 vaccinations
Doha, 17 January 2022: As part of the national efforts to protect vulnerable population groups from COVID-19, Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Home Healthcare Service (HHCS), is running a vaccination drive to older adults and other vulnerable home-bound patients.
The vaccination program, which provides a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as well as educational support, is a continuation the successful program that commenced in February 2021. The program was initiated by Dr. Hanadi Al Hamad, National Lead for Healthy Ageing in Qatar and Medical Director of Rumailah Hospital and Qatar Rehabilitation Institute, to facilitate the vaccination of people less able to make the journey to a vaccination center.
Dr. Al Hamad, who is a leading advocate of promoting healthcare and health literacy among the elderly said: “We know that elderly people are at high-risk of severe COVID-19 infection and this is why it is essential that we provide services to support the vaccination of home-bound patients for who it is difficult to visit a health center or hospital for their vaccination appointment. Our teams also provide support to educate vulnerable patients, their families and caregivers on how to protect themselves from the virus. One of the best ways for us to communicate with our patients is through the healthcare teams that work closely with each patient and their family as they have the best interest of their patients at heart.”
Immunity from infection diminishes in people six months after the second dose, placing them at increased risk of getting very ill if infected. Therefore, the Ministry of Public Health is urging anyone who had their second dose of the vaccine more than six months ago to get their booster dose promptly.
Dr. Essa Mubarak Al Sulaiti, Medical Director of Home Healthcare Services and Deputy National Lead for Healthy Ageing explained the need to address people’s vaccine related concerns. “Our home healthcare teams have played a vital role in Qatar’s National COVID-19 Vaccination Program which has seen more than nine out of ten older people receive two doses of the vaccine and an increasing number of booster doses being administered every day to this vulnerable population group. We encourage our home healthcare teams to talk with patients and their families and explain the vaccination process and the clear evidence that underpins the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine. This has been helpful in addressing people’s questions and we have seen a promising uptake on vaccination rates.”
HMC’s Home Healthcare Services are ramping up their vaccination drive in patient homes. This approach has worked extremely well when the homecare vaccination program was first introduced about a year ago, as community confidence grows.
Ms. Nadya Al-Anzi, Executive Director of Nursing for the Private Nursing Service and Home Healthcare Service at HMC said that the multidisciplinary approach between doctors, nurses and allied health professionals has benefited this vaccination program. “The teams that visit a patient at home are tailored to the needs of that patient. If it is a routine vaccination, then our expert nurses will take the patient’s vital signs before administering the vaccine and will then monitor the patient for a while afterwards to ensure no significant adverse reactions arise. Where more medical supervision is considered necessary, a doctor will participate in the vaccination process to ensure optimal safety precautions are taken.”