Oman has received 2,623,180 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and 2,000,072 individuals have been vaccinated so far, according toH E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health. The sultanate is expecting 3.3mn more doses of vaccines in the next two months.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health announced that it will start administering the second dose of vaccine to those who have completed ten weeks since the first starting Sunday, August 1, 2021. Appointments must be booked through Tarassud + or covid19.moh.gov.om
In an interview with Oman TV on Tuesday evening, H E Dr Sa’eedi said that the Supreme Committee tasked with tackling the impact of the pandemic will meet on Thursday and announce appropriate measures.
He informed that more than 50 per cent of citizens and residents and over 95 per cent of General Education Diploma students have been immunised.
According to the minister, Oman will receive 3,313,190 doses of vaccines in August and September, and 1.4mn doses from October to December. “Oman has already booked 7,698,940 doses of vaccines,” he said.
H E Sa’eedi added that plans are afoot to vaccinate 320,000 students in the age group of 12 to 18 years soon in a joint effort coordinated by the ministries of Health and Education to help them return to classrooms next semester.
He noted that COVID-19 cases are decreasing owing to several reasons, including adherence to precautionary measures and vaccination. The emergence of the Delta variant had led to an alarming rise in infections after a downward trend between October 2020 and January 2021.
“Most cases in Oman today are of the fast-spreading Delta variant. This strain affects people of all ages. The infection it causes is also more severe than previous strains. In Oman, COVID-19 deaths occurred mostly in individuals over 60 who did not accept vaccines.”
H E Sa’eedi reiterated that the pandemic is not yet over; it is ongoing and its social and economic effects are clearly visible. “The level of burden borne by the health sector is immense. We came close to a collapse in healthcare systems when the total number of patients in ICUs crossed the 500 mark. The Supreme Committee had no choice but to opt for measures like complete closure when cases exceeded several times the capacity of the healthcare sector.”
Clarifying on vaccine supply, he said, “Any delay in procuring these is a result of scarcity across the world, not due to financial limitations or the government not trying to obtain doses.
“Vaccination is not mandatory in Oman, but it is the responsibility of the government to protect society from infectious diseases. We are studying measures for those who refuse to take the vaccine.