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‘Take 2 doses to avoid ICU’

3 Aug 2021

Patients vaccinated with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine are rarely admitted in intensive care units, according to medical experts.

“Taking the second dose is important, as one dose is not enough in the long run. We have noticed that patients vaccinated with two doses of vaccine rarely enter ICUs,” said Dr Bader al Rawahi, director of Department of Infectious Diseases Control in the Ministry of Health (MoH).

According to Dr Rawahi, more than 51 per cent of citizens and 12 per cent of residents have received both doses. The sultanate has received  more than 2,623,000 doses of vaccines and 2,177,888 individuals have been vaccinated so far. 

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. Seventy per cent of the population will be vaccinated with two doses to reach community immunity by the end October. MoH aims to immunise the maximum number of people and urges all to get vaccinated in order to return to a normal life,” Dr Rawahi said. 

Describing speeding up the national immunisation drive as the most powerful weapon to avoid a new wave, Dr Zakaria bin Yahya al Balushi, infectious diseases consultant at The Royal Hospital, said working hours of vaccination centres must be extended to at least 9pm. 

Urging families to restrict attendance in weddings and funerals, he said, “We do not want another wave to spread in society as we have seen from previous experiences. And I call on all to get vaccinated because vaccines are effective and the path to survival.” 

Noting that vaccines reduce mortality in transplant patients, Dr Zakaria said complications from COVID-19 are more dangerous in organ transplant patients compared to the general public. “While this category should continue to take preventive measures such as wearing mask, physical distancing and washing hands, it is necessary to give them two doses of vaccines. 

“A study confirmed that the number of COVID-19 cases is lower in organ transplant patients who received the vaccine completely. Of the 912 patients who received the vaccine, only four were infected and there were no deaths. Of the 1,239 patients who did not receive the vaccine, 61 were infected, and two died. Vaccine is important and effective in organ transplant patients.” 

Speaking from his observations at the COVID-19 Field Hospital in Seeb, Redha al Lawati too reiterated that one dose is not enough to fight COVID-19 variants. “Most scientific studies confirm that those who are vaccinated with two doses have reduced severity of symptoms of COVID-19 if they are infected.

“Through immunisation and by adhering to the precautionary measures, we can gradually return to our normal lives. Hurry up and get vaccinated.” 

Dr Zaid al Hinai, infectious diseases consultant at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, described immunisation as the ‘most powerful weapon we have’.

“Immunisation protects against infection with COVID-19 and prevents hospitalisation and death to a very high extent,”Dr Hinai said.

“With good vaccination coverage, we can avoid the need for governorates to close in the future. 

“Vaccination can be likened to studying for a test. The person who is vaccinated is like one who enters the exam hall prepared. If he is exposed to the virus, he knows how to deal with it and succeeds against it. A person who is not immunised is someone who enters the test without studying, is surprised by strange questions, and less likely to succeed,” Dr Hinai added.

 

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