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MoH reduces time period for booster dose in Sultanate of Oman


Muscat: The Ministry of Health (MOH) has reduced the time period for the booster dose vaccines from six to three months from the date of receiving the second dose, starting Tuesday.

As the effectiveness of the vaccine doses will subside over a period, it is essential to take the third or booster dose, the officials at the Ministry of Health (MoH) have said.

The officials added that studies have not yet figured out whether the symptoms of the Omicron strain are more severe than the symptoms of previous variants, including that of the Delta variant.

The MoH officials have warned that people will be exposed to a lack of antibodies that were acquired due to contracting the disease or from taking vaccines.

Dr. Feryal bint Ali al Lawati of the Royal Hospital said in an interview that it is approved to take the third dose of a different vaccine than the two doses that were taken initially.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) announced the registration of the first two cases of the new Omicron from citizens coming from abroad.

“Expatriates also can take the first or the second dose at the Old Muscat Airport building during official working hours.” The other centers for vaccinations are the health centers in Al Khuwair, Amerat, Muscat, and Quriyat. Timings are 8 am to 8 pm.

The Supreme Committee on Sunday said that there has been a significant increase in the number of cases in various countries due to Omicron, including the number of inpatients in wards and intensive care units, in addition to deaths in some countries.

While there was a slight increase in positive cases in the Sultanate, the percentage of patients being admitted to hospital and ICUs have been low due to the high rate of immunization, with nearly 93 percent of the target groups taking the single dose of the vaccine.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Sunday reported 60 new cases of Covid-19 and zero deaths in the last three days (24-Thursday, 22-Friday, 14- Saturday).

This was the highest number of cases reported on a Sunday (figures three days) as 35 cases were reported on December 12, 22 cases on December 5, 35 on November 30 (five days including National Day holidays), 26 on November 21, 19 on November 14, 36 on November 7.

The last time the Sultanate of Oman reported 50 cases and above on a Sunday was 50 on October 31. The Omicron variant is spreading significantly faster than the Delta strain in countries with documented community transmission, with the number of cases doubling in 1.5 to 3 days, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Saturday.

The United Nations’ health agency said Omicron has been reported in 89 countries. The highly mutated variant is spreading rapidly in countries with high levels of population immunity, the WHO said, but it is unclear if this is due to the WHO's Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "Omicron is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant” and lamented that some people were dismissing it as a mild variant. Surely, we have learned by now that we underestimate this virus at our peril. Even if Omicron does cause less severe disease, the sheer number of cases could once again overwhelm unprepared health systems.”

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