Doha, 27 October 2020: Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has launched a unique research study to explore people’s attitudes towards a COVID-19 vaccine. There are varying levels of knowledge of the proposed vaccination program and this study will provide insight into the attitudes held among Qatar’s population.
The survey, which is being led by HMC’s Mental Health Service, can be completed online in either Arabic or English and will help to inform future decision making as Qatar makes plans for the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“This research study will enable us to gain an in-depth understanding of people’s attitudes and help to shape future messaging and advocacy plans for the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines play a vital role across the world in keeping millions of people safe from potentially deadly diseases. However, there are differing views about vaccines, some of which are informed by knowledge and some of which can be influenced by misleading information and, at times, false information about the efficacy and safety of vaccines. For this reason, it is extremely important that we have a comprehensive understanding of the way people feel and think about a COVID-19 vaccine,’’ said Dr. Majid Al Abdulla, Chairman of HMC’s Mental Health Service.
“COVID-19 has impacted every single person in Qatar in some way so it is important that as many people as possible take the time to complete this survey, which can be done anonymously, to help us collate as much data as we can on this important topic,” added Dr. Al Abdulla.
Pharmaceutical companies around the world are working overtime to develop a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 and Qatar has already signed two agreements – with Pfizer and BioNTech, and Moderna – to procure a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is released for global use.
“The launch of this study is a vital part of our strategy to ensure that, as soon as we have an approved COVID-19 vaccine in Qatar, we can offer easy access to the vaccine to those people most at risk,” said Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of Infectious Diseases at HMC.
“With COVID-19 having disrupted so many aspects of life across the world since the start of the year, finding a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is a priority for international pharmaceutical companies and the World Health Organization. Never before have so many resources been allocated to the development of one vaccine. Several vaccines are in the process of undergoing clinical trials and only once all necessary regulatory approvals have been given will they be approved for distribution. While a date for the vaccine’s availability is not yet known, Qatar is committed to working proactively with a number of companies to ensure the most vulnerable members of our society can receive the vaccine as soon as possible and life in Qatar can begin to return towards what we consider normal,” added Dr. Al Khal.