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‘Over 60 per cent of population must be vaccinated for community immunity’

2 Feb 2021

Chances of infection among youngsters with the new strains of the coronavirus are more, according to Dr Zaid al Kattab al Hinai, paediatric infectious diseases consultant at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital. 

Dr Hinai added that to reach a stage of community immunity, vaccines must be given to more than 60 per cent of Oman’s population. 

In an interview with Oman TV, Dr Hinai said, “In Oman, we are exposed to a new, stronger wave of COVID-19. The spread of the new strains of coronavirus among the young is more than the earlier strain, and this is where the risk increases, although the seriousness of the virus itself is almost the same.”

Dr Hinai informed that to achieve community immunity, “over 60 per cent of the population needs to be vaccinated, which would mean vaccinating more than 10,000 people every day for six months. With the spread of the new strain, it might take more time”.

The South African strain is the most resistant to the vaccine, and it may be more dangerous compared to other strains, including the British one, he added.

“The new strains have dampened optimism about the possibility of emerging from the pandemic by this summer because it is spreading faster and controlling it is more difficult. So, the Ministry of Health urges people to adhere to the preventive measures.”

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