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Oman in race for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine

27 Jul 2020 By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

Being part of the global mechanism designed to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, Oman is set to receive 700,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is produced.

As many countries have expressed interest in joining the COVAX Facility, a mechanism designed to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, Oman too is working in close coordination with the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation (GAVI) to get doses of coronavirus vaccine as soon as it is produced.

COVAX is co-led by GAVI, the World Health Organization and the CEPI Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Its aim is to deliver two billion doses of effective, approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, said, “The sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Health (MoH), is in continuous coordination with GAVI to get 700,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is produced.”

H E Dr Sa’eedi pointed out that efforts are being exerted by MoH to secure the procurement of the vaccine after ensuring its safety and efficiency. “The sultanate seeks to participate in developing research on COVID-19 vaccine to secure the vaccine as soon at it is produced,” he said.

Many countries have expressed interest in joining the COVAX finance scheme, according to GAVI. The countries, which would finance the vaccines from public budgets, will partner with up to 90 poorer countries supported through voluntary donations to GAVI’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

Recently, Seth Berkley, GAVI’s chief executive, said in a statement that COVAX is the only truly global solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. “For the vast majority of countries, whether they can afford to pay for their own doses or require assistance, it means receiving a guaranteed share of doses and avoiding being pushed to the back of the queue, as we saw during the H1N1 pandemic a decade ago,” he said.

The shots will be delivered equally to participating countries, proportional to their populations and deployed initially for healthcare workers, GAVI said.

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