Muscat: Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed a-Saeedi, Minister of Health, said that the Sultanate has focused on companies that have had a long history of producing vaccines and have booked doses sufficient for 60% of the population of the Sultanate.
In an interview with Oman TV's special Ramadhan program, he said the Sultanate was among the first to join the international coalition that includes 190 countries, and he was relying on the coalition to obtain hundreds of millions of vaccination doses and distribute them in a way that is fair. Each country needs 20% initially for workers in the health or other frontline sectors, the elderly, and those with chronic diseases.
He said that in some cases production has been delayed by more than 4 months as it was hoped that thousands of doses would arrive in January and the months to follow, which did not happen. So far 265, 000 have reached Oman, and those who were vaccinated until Wednesday were 174,000.
Al-Saeedi said that the vaccine doses reserved for the Sultanate is 6 million over a time frame and stressed that the problem is not the financial situation nor political because the Sultanate has good political relations with all countries. The Sultanate paid to the International Coalition for 10% of the doses in October 2020.
He said some companies have faced difficulties in clinical trials and some clinical trials that were in the final stages did not prove their effectiveness and or had to be withdrawn from the market.
The Minister said 4, 750, 000 doses from Pfizer will be supplied to the Sultanate before the end of September, of which 1, 350,000 will be supplied before the end of June, and negotiations are still underway to obtain 250,000 this month.
Al-Saeedi indicated that more than 90% of workers in the health sector in the Sultanate have been vaccinated, and before the beginning of the next academic year, all teaching staff, college students, and children 18 years and above will be vaccinated. Workers in government units will be vaccinated according to age groups.
Vaccination does not protect 100% and there are cases that have been vaccinated and infected.