Mass vaccinations begin at private hospitals in Oman

Oman Sunday 13/June/2021 07:15 AM
By: Times News Service
Mass vaccinations begin at private hospitals in Oman
Those who wish to get vaccinated at private hospitals will have to pay a fee depending on the vaccine they take.

Muscat: Private hospitals in Oman have begun vaccinating tens of thousands of people with the COVID-19 vaccine, with preparations being made for them to store the jabs required to take part in the country’s immunisation drive.

In partnership with the Ministry of Health, private hospitals and clinics that have registered to take part in the national immunisation campaign against the coronavirus can offer vaccinations to both walk-in patients, and those who have registered in advance.

Those who wish to get vaccinated at private hospitals will need to pay a fee, which depends on the type of vaccine they choose to take.

Over at NMC Hospital, patients can book the AstraZeneca vaccine at OMR 22 for both jabs. People who wish to register can visit the hospital’s Facebook and Instagram pages, where instructions on how to sign up have been published in the Stories sections of both platforms.

Alternatively, the hospital’s Facebook page also contains a link to a Google form, where people can book their vaccination appointment according to their convenience.

“Irrespective of the hospital at which the person wishes to take their vaccine, the booking system for all our centres is the same, as we have a centralised vaccine platform,” said a spokesperson for the hospital.

“In keeping with Ministry of Health guidelines, we are offering vaccines to Omanis above the age of 18, and to expatriates aged above 45.”

“We have already begun our vaccination efforts, and are seeing plenty of demand for our shots, which we will be able to provide so long as we continue to receive vaccine doses,” he said. “Patients have two options to pay for the vaccines: either they can pay online, and then upload the receipt to our Google Form, or they can pay in person when they come to take their shots.”

To speed up its vaccination efforts, the hospital recently opened a vaccination centre in Panorama Mall, which was inaugurated by Dr Mazin Al Khabouri, the Director General of Private Health Establishments at the Ministry of Health.

On the Google form, patients need to provide their full name and email address, the names and national ID card copies of all those in their family who wish to take the vaccine, and need to book and pay for the number of doses they intend on being administered by the hospital.

A doctor at Badr Al Sama’a Hospital, one of the private medical centres taking part in immunisation efforts, said: “the cost of the vaccine will be borne by patients. Those who want to take the vaccine can walk in to any of our clinics, where they will be administered a vaccine of their choice, provided it is in stock.”

Once they have been administered their vaccine, patients will need to wait for about 15 minutes at the hospital, where they will be observed for any adverse effects they experience from the jab. Registration details for Badr Al Sama’a hospitals will be made public soon. In the meantime, people can call their nearest hospital and book a vaccine appointment.

“We have made all the preparations required to distribute vaccines to people, and are just awaiting the green light from the Ministry of Health,” said the doctor.

“We expect to receive this soon, and once done, we will provide an online link where people can register to take the vaccine. In the meantime, however, people can still book vaccine appointments by calling our hospitals, and they will be among the first to be vaccinated, once we are allowed to immunise people.”

An official from the Ministry of Health said that the AstraZeneca vaccine is priced at OMR11 per dose, owing to the cost of the jab itself, which costs OMR8, with the remaining OMR3 covering administrative costs for hospitals.

The ministry has also clarified that the vaccines are safe to take, and has asked people to not listen to rumours about alleged side-effects or harmful complications associated with them.

“We have witnessed many citizens and residents queuing up to take the vaccines, and this represents a high level of awareness,” said Shatha bint Ahmed Al Siyabi, a lab specialist assigned to the vaccination efforts at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Boushar.