Muscat: Schools, stadiums and other public places in Oman are to be used as centres to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to people, the Minister of Health has said.
The plan to use these areas, as well as other public facilities such as the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) does fall under directives issued as part of the national vaccination drive, he added.
“Mobile vaccination campaigns will continue until the end of 2021, by which time more than 70 per cent of citizens and residents will have been immunised,” said Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Saidi.
Speaking during a meeting of the coronavirus immunisation team, the minister, who is also a member of the Supreme Committee to deal with COVID-19, said people above 45 can now apply for vaccinations.
Having booked about 4.37 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, Oman is also expected to receive an additional 1.5 million doses through GAVI, the global vaccine alliance.
More than one million COVID vaccines are expected to arrive in Oman by June, with a total of 1.5 million people likely vaccinated by the end of next month. 100,000 doses from other companies are also scheduled by then.
“More than 95 per cent of people in the age group 65 and above have been vaccinated,” he said. “I regret, however, that not everyone above 60 has been immunised. I advise those who have not, to approach the immunisation centres to take these vaccines.
“Our national immunisation plan focuses on the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, in terms of population density, and prioritising infection-prone sections of society,” he added. “These begin with people aged 65 and above, followed by those over 60.”
The next phase of the segments targeted for vaccination include people above 45 years, pilgrims, workers at health facilities, government workers, the Royal Oman Police, the Sultan’s Armed Forces, education and teaching staff, grade 12 students, people operating in vital areas such as the oil and gas sector, ports, and airports.
A number of private sector establishments have also been targeted as part of this phase of the vaccine drive.
“About 90 per cent of government healthcare workers have received the first dose of the vaccine, and steps are underway to vaccinate workers in the private health sector,” added Al Saidi.