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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Around 15,000 people vaccinated in Sultanate

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More and more people are visiting health centres to get vaccinated, according to official sources.


As of January 9, 14,980 people have got vaccinated of whom 5,516 of them were from Muscat, followed by 2,547 in North Al Batinah and 1,296 in South Al Batinah.


Following the first batch of Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine (15,600 doses) that arrived on December 24, the second batch of 28,000 doses are expected in the coming days.


Oman has also joined the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation (COVAX), which will provide 10 per cent of the required COVID-19 vaccine.


COVID-19 vaccine deliveries under the Covax facility coordinated by the World Health Organization to support lower-income countries could start this month, WHO immunisation director Kate O’Brien said on Thursday.


“We need about $7 billion in order to deliver enough vaccine to these countries through the end of 2021. The facility has already raised about $6 billion of the $7 billion,” she said.


“So the facility has access to over two billion doses of vaccine. We will start to deliver those vaccines probably by the end of January, and if not, then certainly by early February and mid-February.


According to government sources, COVID-19 recovered people will be offered vaccines in the later phases, and the side effects, if any, will be noticed only after seven days. So far no side effects have been reported in the country.


Total coverage of the target groups has been in North Al Batinah (65%), Muscat (60%), South Al Batinah (51%) and Musandam (84%).


The government has urged both citizens and residents in target groups to take advantage of the available COVID-19 doses by visiting the nearest health centres specified by the ministry for this purpose.


Officials at Bausher polyclinic told the Observer that they receive around 100 to 150 residents and citizens daily for vaccination.


“Currently, citizens and residents 65 years and above with chronic diseases are given priorities,” an employee at the clinic said.


“Both citizens and residents should visit the nearest health institutions designated for giving the vaccine across the Sultanates’ Governorates without adhering to the scheduled appointments for taking the vaccine depending upon the working hours in each institution,” said the ministry.


“A person can be said vaccinated only after taking the second dose. So the coverage rate should include only those vaccinated with two doses,” said a citizen.


Target groups identified by the government are senior citizens (65 years of age and above), those with diabetes, people with kidney failure and who are on dialysis, and those with chronic lung diseases namely, the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Syndrome (COPD), asthma (with the severity of the disease varies between medium and high), and interstitial lung disease (ILD).


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