Muscat: Oman’s Minister of Health has thanked the government of India for delivering 100,000 vaccines at no charge, to help with the country’s coronavirus vaccination drive.
The doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were produced by the Serum Institute of India, having undergone clinical trials to ensure they were safe to use on humans. The vaccines were handed over to Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Saidi by Munu Mahawar, the ambassador of India to Oman.
Thanking the Indian government on behalf of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik and the Omani government and people, “Al Saidi welcomed the government of India’s gesture to gift 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and commended the cooperation between the two countries,” said a statement from the Ministry of Health.
He praised India’s leading role in the global fight against COVID-19, and the support that India has extended to its friends, praising the efforts of the government in making vaccines available for people around the world. “It is important to have an interval of at least four weeks between the first and second dose when taking the AstraZeneca vaccine,” the statement said.
The Minister also made it clear that those who had already received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine are not to be injected with the AstraZeneca vaccine as their second jab. “Initial evidence shows that the new strain of the coronavirus responds to treatment with the various vaccines manufactured for COVID-19,” the ministry added.
Beforehand, health workers from Oman were trained in handling and administration of the vaccine in programmes run jointly by health ministries of the two countries.
The Indian envoy said, “This is a gift from the government of India – this is a gesture of goodwill from India, keeping in mind the special relationship we have with Oman. This is entirely a contribution to Oman’s vaccine programme for the country’s government and Ministry of Health to use,” he added. “India has always shouldered global responsibility at times of crisis and is a dependable and reliable friend of Oman.”
An Embassy of India statement said, “The delivery of vaccines is another landmark in the strong bilateral cooperation between both the countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the resilience of India-Oman strategic partnership, as close engagement and cooperation have continued between both the countries in addressing the urgent matters related to the pandemic.
“India looks forward to continuing working closely with the leadership and government of Oman to further strengthen the strategic partnership.”