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‘No racism’ in giving priority to Kuwaitis for winter vaccinations

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 24: Restricting the winter season vaccination campaign to citizens currently in light of the present circumstances related to COVID-19 pandemic is a regulatory measure for giving priority to citizens, and then opening the way for expatriates subsequently, reports Al-Rai daily quoting informed health sources.

They insisted that there is no racism, discrimination or distinction between citizens and residents when it comes to administering these vaccinations. While the Ministry of Health announced the appointment booking system for vaccinations through the ministry’s website where data have to be entered and then an appointment has to be booked, the sources affirmed that the ministry’s circular in this regard is temporary and not divisive in the provision of health care.

They stressed that the ministry does not differentiate in serving everyone who lives on the land of Kuwait, the country of humanity, adding that the private health facilities were not prevented by the ministry from providing vaccinations, as it could request vaccinations from the supplier companies and present them to those who wish to obtain them.

The sources said they believe the claim that the circular carries some aspects of racism is right, especially since restricting the vaccination campaign to citizens is limited to the current period. Only after the completion of the vaccination of citizens, the door will be opened to residents. There is no harm in that due to the current COVID- 19 circumstances, which require taking preventive and regulatory measures in order to protect citizens and residents

The circular issued by the Ministry of Health regarding restricting the winter vaccination campaign to citizens in the current period carried some difference in views between those in support and those in condemnation of the matter.

Those in favor of the ministry’s circular said the world is living in exceptional circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic and all countries give priority to their citizens, with the possibility that the vaccination is available in the private sector and can be obtained.

On the other hand, those in condemnation of the circular are of the view that it is racist to provide health care based on nationality, and that the goal of vaccinations is to achieve community immunity by vaccinating the largest segment of the country’s population at least by 50 percent.

High-level health sources resolved the controversy surrounding this issue by affirming that shortening the winter vaccination campaign in the current period is a regulatory measure in view of the COVID-19 circumstances, as the priority is for citizens, and at another stage the service will be provided to expatriates, who would have the possibility of getting vaccinated in the private health facilities which are not prohibited to do so. In this regard, the Ministry of Health, in a press statement, had affirmed that the preventive health centers designated to administer seasonal vaccinations for immunization against the most common causes of viral respiratory diseases (influenza) and bacterial (Pneumococcal) will be restricted to citizens during this period.

It is worth mentioning that the ministry last Thursday launched a vaccination campaign, affirming its full readiness and coordination with health zone directors to increase the number of nursing staff and prepare more rooms for vaccinations in preventive health centers.

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