healthcare

Call for more vaccination centres, extended hours

June 9, 2021

Citizens and residents are calling for more vaccination centres and an extension of working hours at these to expedite the immunisation process to limit the spread of the pandemic and reduce the daily COVID-19 case count.

In this regard, Dr Zakaria bin Yahya al Balushi, infectious diseases consultant at The Royal Hospital, tweeted, “The timing of vaccination is from 8am to 2pm. It is necessary to expedite the administration of vaccines to reduce new infections and deaths quickly.

Vaccines are available in the sultanate, so vaccination centres must operate 24 hours a day to accelerate the immunisation process.”

He added that health cadres, volunteers and employees of other sectors must be engaged to speed up the immunisation process while continuing to adhere to the preventive measures until the number of cases decreases. “There is no reason to store vaccines; it should be given out immediately.”

In reference to Dhofar, where khareef will begin soon, Dr Balushi said that to protect the people and visitors from infection, “the target group for vaccination against COVID-19 in the governorate should be expanded because of the season’s economic and social importance”.

Speaking to Muscat Daily outside the Al Nabha School for Basic Education in Seeb where a vaccination centre is being run, Ibrahim al Sayed said, “I came with my father to get him vaccinated. I thank God that he got the vaccine, but I hope the authorities increase the number of centres so that the maximum number of people are immunised to end this pandemic.”

Ahmed Nizar, 65, a Jordanian national who came to the vaccination centre at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher for his first dose, had to return disappointed. “I was surprised that they are only allowing those due for the second dose. I hope all target groups are allowed and given the vaccine.”

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Health Services in Muscat has refuted reports in social media that some vaccination centres in the governorate have been changed.

The centres in Muscat governorate include Al Nabha School for Basic Education in Seeb, Quriyat Polyclinic in Quriyat, Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher, Imam Jaber bin Zaid School in Wattayah and the Office of the Governor in Amerat.

The Ministry of Health on Tuesday stated that the implementation plan of the National Immunisation Campaign against COVID-19 in June and July 2021 targets a large segment of the population. ‘In order to ensure a smooth implementation process with the best precautionary measures at the various vaccination centres, the ministry has set a schedule for each stage.’

Immunisation plan

Stage 1 (Since May 26)

- General Education Diploma students and teaching staff

- Second dose for the population of Musandam governorate

- Second dose for those who have completed ten weeks since the first dose

- Frontline service providers from ROP, Sultan's Armed Forces and security apparatus

- Frontline service providers in the public sector

- Health workers in private health institutions

Stage 2 (June 21)

- Individuals aged 45 years and older

Stage 3 (mid-July)

- Higher education students and teaching staff

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