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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI
Intensifying negotiations over vaccine procurement
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The Sultanate has intensified efforts to negotiate with vaccine manufacturers and make them fulfil their obligations as per the contracts signed last year.


The Director-General of the Directorate General of Medical Supplies at the Ministry of Health has told the Observer’s sister publication in an exclusive interview that the Sultanate has signed agreements to purchase 5,20,230 doses of Covid vaccines to vaccinate 60 per cent of the population.


The Sultanate has so far received 254,740 doses of vaccines, including 111,540 from Pfizer-BioNTech and 143,200 from AstraZeneca.


The Sultanate has contracted with the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) to supply 10 per cent of its vaccine requirements. The first batch of 43,200 doses from AstraZeneca arrived last week and is expected to receive more than 175,000 doses in May and 109,980 doses of Pfizer in June.


The Sultanate is expected to receive 211,530 doses this month, including 48,000 from AstraZeneca (already shipped, followed by 129,600 doses of the same vaccine and 45,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.


The Sultanate will import about 222,000 doses in April, 550,000 doses in May, and 1.7 million doses in June. It is negotiating an additional 1 million doses of Pfizer to arrive during the months of July, August, and September.


Distributing vaccines quickly and equitably is essential to end this pandemic, restart our economies and begin to tackle the other great challenges of our time, like food insecurity, inequality and the climate crisis, the WHO has reiterated


Health must be foundational to all development in the post-Covid world and investing in primary health care systems will be key to ending this pandemic, preparing for the next one and delivering on the vision of health for all.


Meanwhile, COVAX partners, which include Gavi, the vaccine alliance, are working on several options to scale up production to meet the goal of delivering two billion doses by the end of the year.


The CEO of Gavi said that there is a need for continued solidarity.


“What we are now beginning to see are supply constraints, not just of vaccines, but also of the goods that go into making vaccines”, he said.


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