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Two million vaccination target set for end-June

Pregnant next in priority line for jabs

KUWAIT CITY, May 1: With the acceleration of the coronavirus vaccination campaign in the country, the number of vaccinated individuals is expected to increase to two million by the end of June or early July at the latest, reports Al-Rai daily quoting reliable sources. While affirming that the country will continue monitoring the vaccination rate daily, sources revealed the Pfizer vaccine shipments arrive weekly and the third shipment of Oxford vaccine is expected to arrive next month. Sources also confirmed the completion of a study on extending the interval between the first and second doses according to the latest research and global recommendations in this regard.

The specified interval in Kuwait is 21 days for Pfizer vaccine and three months for Oxford vaccine. The interval is not fixed or the same in all countries, sources explained. In a related development, sources said the Ministry of Health has obtained approval for booster vaccine requests from the regulatory authorities, including the request for two million doses of Pfizer vaccine, while the request for Moderna vaccine is still under study.

The Ministry of Health is racing against time to raise the rates of vaccination in ministries, government institutions and various commercial markets. To this end, the Ministry of Health has vaccinated about 1,500 media men and employees of local Kuwaiti newspapers recently, while it is currently continuing its efforts to vaccinate workers in various government departments to raise the employee attendance rates.

Well-informed health sources confirmed to Al-Seyassah daily that the efforts of the Ministry of Health this week paid dividends in terms of vaccinating a large number of people – about 100,000 during the past five days, with an average of 20,000 daily, distributed among all vaccination centers, hospital units and centers in health areas, albeit the biggest share is attributed to the main vaccination center in Mishref which has vaccinated more than 70 percent of all the vaccinated people. Health sources said Kuwait has succeeded in vaccinating about 1,165,000 people so far, at 27.25 percent of the population, which is an acceptable rate in light of the shortage of vaccines, which is a problem that many countries around the world suffer from.

For his part, the Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Vaccination against Covid 19 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah, spoke of the ministry’s efforts to raise the rate of immunization in government departments. Al-Jarallah said on his Twitter account that the national vaccination campaign aims to speed up work to raise the employees attendance in government departments to achieve community immunity, stressing that effective vaccines, dosing stages, distribution of vaccination sites and stability of supply will increase the frequency of vaccination and the stages of returning to normal life. Al-Jarallah warned that laxity in adhering to preventive precautions prolongs the duration of the crisis and its repercussions.

He highlighted the importance of immunization in preventing the spread of infection, as it is the way to return to openness and curb epidemic waves, noting that a recent study conducted by the British Public Health confirmed that receiving only one dose of the Pfizer or Oxford vaccine works to reduce contact infection by nearly half. He pointed out that the results of these studies, in addition to previous indications of the effectiveness of vaccination in reducing the rate of disease injuries, clinical work and deaths, all confirm the importance of vaccination and community immunization against Covid-19.

A member of the Supreme Committee for Vaccination, Dr. Khaled Al-Saeed said the country’s infrastructure can vaccinate a million people within one month only, provided that adequate vaccines are available, stressing that the Ministry of Health has the privileges and medical and technical competencies that can cross the mark if vaccines are available. Al-Saeed pointed out in his Twitter account that the Ministry of Health has contracted millions of doses to reach the required societal immunity, but the supply is limited at present, and this may explain the inability of private medical institutions to supply vaccines so far due to the difficulty of providing them worldwide. He pointed out that many countries were affected by the lack of supplies of vaccines, and the European Union even filed a lawsuit against AstraZeneca due to the delay in supplying the vaccine.

Meanwhile, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Mustafa Reda, has restored the work of the specialized medical committees in public hospitals and specialized centers. Dr Rida was circulated to the directors of health districts, hospitals, the administration of treatment abroad and heads of medical departments to return these committees according to the controls established in their regard and specified in Ministerial Resolution No. 169 of 2019 regarding the regulation of treatment abroad, based on the Ministry’s keenness to regulate the workflow. The Ministry of Health is considering the possibility of administering the COVID-19 vaccine to pregnant women in the coming weeks, reports Aljarida daily quoting informed sources from the health sector. They explained that this move comes in the wake of medical studies and research that have proven the safety of the vaccine for pregnant and lactating women. A study was conducted on about 36,000 pregnant women in the United States who received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, No problems related to health safety were observed.

By Marwa Al-Bahrawi Al-Seyassah Staff and Agencies

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