Oman speeds up vaccination drive amid surge in Covid-19 cases
The vaccination campaign for over-45s began on Sunday and came amid reports that June was the deadliest month for the Gulf state so far, despite being just two-thirds of the way through it.
On Tuesday, Oman, with a population of around 4 million, recorded 41 Covid-19 deaths over a 24-hours period with more than 2,000 new cases.
The surge in cases in the Gulf state has worried the health community, after around 1,517 people were hospitalised with the disease and the number rapidly rising.
Oman has seen a total of 2,782 deaths from Covid-19, with reports last week that hospitals are reaching capacity level.
Hope now lies in the vaccination campaign, which is being ramped up across the country.
Oman should be able to immunise at least 70 percent of its population against Covid-19 by the end of this year with the current rate of vaccination levels, according to recent statistics shared by Times of Oman.
Data gathered from a website tracking vaccination progress around the world showed that, as of mid-June, 648,398 had been vaccinated, equalling 12.7 percent of the Gulf state’s population.
"857,044 vaccines (have been) administered for Covid-19 in Oman, currently at a rate of… 33,844 each day. That is about 16.8 doses per hundred people of a population totalling 5.11 million. At this rate, Oman could have 70 per cent of people vaccinated two doses in 186 days or by Dec 23, 2021," the report published by the Times of Oman said.
The health ministry announced on Tuesday that people who have been infected with the virus and haven't completed six months since the infection are allowed to take only one dose of the vaccine.
"If a person is infected with Covid-19 and 6 months or more have passed since the infection, two doses of the vaccine should be taken, and if less than six months since the infection, only one dose should be taken," the ministry said in a statement.
— وزارة الصحة - عُمان (@OmaniMOH) June 22, 2021
As health authorities began administering the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine in Oman at the beginning of June, the government loosened a range of virus restrictions, reopening land borders, mosques for under a hundred worshippers at a time, and restaurants and cafes at half capacity.
This, along with the spread of highly transmissible variants, has allowed Covid-19 to surge.
Three cases of the newly spread black fungus disease were also reported in Oman last week.