Football: Qatar seeks one million virus jabs for World Cup fans

DOHA (AFP) – Qatar’s prime minister announced Doha is seeking to provide one million doses of a coronavirus vaccine to fans attending the 2022 World Cup in the country, state media reported Sunday (June 20).

The Gulf nation has been slowly opening up as it continues with its mass vaccination programme.

There is “the possibility that some countries will not be able to vaccinate all their citizens,” said Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani, according to the official Qatar News Agency.

“Qatar will not allow fans to enter stadiums without being fully vaccinated against the virus,” he said.

“That is why we are currently in negotiations with one of the companies to provide one million” doses of vaccine, he added, without naming any firm.

“Our main goal in vaccinating some of those coming to Qatar to attend the World Cup is to protect the public health of citizens and residents.” Sheikh Khalid also said that approximately 72 per cent of Qatar’s 2.75 million population “will have received at least one dose” of vaccine within the next week.

Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, said in April that Doha was in talks with coronavirus vaccine makers to ensure all fans attending the World Cup are inoculated.

Qatar has so far recorded 220,800 coronavirus cases, including 583 deaths.

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