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Covid-19 Immunization Team Holds First Meeting

Covid-19 Immunization Team Holds First Meeting

Muscat, The ministerial team in charge of immunization against coronavirus (Covid-19) held its first meeting at the Ministry of Health today.

The team stems from the Supreme Committee tasked with tackling developments resulting from Covid-19 pandemic.

The meeting dealt with the Covid-19 National Immunization Strategy, which aims at cutting down the number of infected persons, related deaths and the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic.

The meeting also looked into Covid-19 vaccination coverage in all governorates of the Sultanate.

Officials at the Ministry of Health said that more than one million of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in the Sultanate by June 2021 and that the number of vaccinated persons by the end of June is expected to reach 1.5 million people from among target segments, which include those aged above 45 years, pilgrims, citizens in Musandam and frontline workers at health institutions, government establishments, the Royal Oman Police, the Sultan’s Armed Forces, higher education institutions, educational and teaching staff, Grade 12 students and people operating in vital sectors like the oil and gas sector, ports, airports and a number of private sector establishments.

The meeting also reviewed vaccine distribution mechanisms, including the opening of immunization centres in all governorates of the Sultanate, Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, schools and sports complexes in the Governorate of Muscat and other governorates. There will also be mobile immunization teams to vaccinate all government workers and supply Covid-19 vaccines to private sector establishments through clinics of big companies and at private health establishments licensed to give the vaccine.

The meeting was attended by specialists from the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Ahmed Mohammed al-Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, member of the Covid-19 Supreme Committee said that the team updated itself about the national immunization plan prepared by the Ministry of Health and is being enforced since December 2020.

The minister pointed out more than 4.370 million doses of PfizerbioNTech were booked, along with more than 1.5 million doses reserved via the Global Alliance of Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).

Dr. Ahmed added that 1.5 million people are expected to be immunized by the end of June 2021 and that the Sultanate will receive one million doses of PfizerbioNTech, in addition to 100,000 doses from other companies during the month of June.

The minister pointed out that the plan focuses on fair distribution of the vaccine by ratio of population density and takes into account infection-prone priority segments aged more than 65 years, followed by those aged above 60.

Dr. Ahmed affirmed that the rate of vaccination in the 65-plus age group stood at more than 95%. He expressed regret at the fact that some aged above 60 are still not vaccinated, and he advised those to approach immunization centres to take the vaccines.

About 90% of government health workers received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and steps are underway to vaccinate private health workers, the minister said.

He affirmed that there are directives to conduct vaccination campaigns at government establishments and schools and to make use of facilities like Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre and sports complexes in Muscat and other governorates.

Mobile vaccination campaigns will continue till the end of 2021, by which time more than 70% citizens and residents will have been immunized, the minister said.

Source: Oman News Agency