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Appointment system on the cards again
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 13: Throughout the year 2021, the scene seemed similar at the vaccination center in the Kuwait International Fairground in terms of the crowds of people waiting to receive COVID-19 vaccine. When the year began, people were queuing to receive their first dose of the vaccine, and currently the same scene continues with those wishing to receive the third “booster shot” dose of the vaccine, reports Al-Rai daily.
Due to the normal and not-very-heavy turnout, the Ministry of Health has allowed for a long time to obtain the booster dose without prior appointments for all citizens and residents, provided that six months have passed since receiving the second dose.
However, a heavy turnout for vaccination was recorded last week at the fairgrounds and various vaccination centers.
According to health sources, there are four main factors behind this. They are :-
1- The announcement of the first case of Omicron variant detected in the country
2 – The date of the third dose for tens of thousands of those who received the vaccination in early June. As of June 7, about 200,000 were vaccinated within a period of ten days. The vaccine was administered to such a large number within a few days at that time because of a delay in shipment of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.
3- The announcement made by Pfizer last week that preliminary laboratory studies showed that three doses of its vaccine can neutralize Omicron.
4 – Continued encouragement by the Ministry of Health and the heroes of the “White Army’’ to receive booster shots. While the center at the Fairgrounds doubled the number of nurses and organizers to meet the heavy demand from those wishing to take the third dose, a medical source hinted at the possibility of following the previous mechanism for administering the third dose.
This mechanism involves sending SMS to the relevant people with the date and other details, and ensuring those who do not have a prior appointment will not be received. This is aimed at organizing the work and dealing with the large influx. Head of the Central COVID-19 Committee at the Ministry of Health Dr. Hashem Al-Hashemi reassured that the severity of the symptoms of the Omicron variant is milder than the previous Delta mutant due to the vaccinations, the rate of which reached 80 percent in the country. He stressed that the ministry is able to raise clinical capacity without any difficulties, adding, “We have the ability to organize 3,000 beds in COVID-19 wards and 850 beds in the intensive care units”.