Coronavirus in KuwaitKuwait

Kuwait hits 70% vaccination milestone

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Health Minister Sheikh Dr Bassel Al-Sabah’s announcement that 70 percent of population have been vaccinated has given rise to optimism nationwide that herd immunity was within reach. The announcement came after almost two years of strict measures triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, including lockdowns and partial curfews.

Kuwait was fully mobilized to control spread of the virus and began vaccination campaign eight months ago with the ultimate aim of reaching herd immunity. More than 2.6 million people have been vaccinated so far. His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah launched the vaccination campaign with a Pfizer-BioNTech shot and had recently announced success of the campaign, paving the way for full return of employees to workplace in person.

“We are on the right track to achieve herd immunity,” Ministry of Health spokesman Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad said and expressed gratitude to healthcare workers for their fight against the virus. He also commended citizens and residents for registering to get the vaccine jabs. Dr Khaled Al-Saeed, member of COVID-19 vaccine committee, said the inoculation helped achieve herd immunity which would eventually ease strain on health system in case of future waves of the pandemic.

The vaccination drive, he added, contributed to a significant drop in the number of mortalities and patients in hospitals. It also encouraged the ministry to introduce a third shot of the vaccine “for critical cases.” Maryam Abdurrahman, director of nutrition department at Kuwait Cancer Control Center, described the 70-percent vaccination threshold as “a great breakthrough.”

She said the pandemic affected the psychological, social and health behavior of the people and the acceleration of vaccination would have positive impacts on people with low immunity. Eman Ahmad, a mother of an autistic boy, said her child could now enjoy his time outdoors and lead a normal life. Amal Abdullah, member of Kuwait Writers Association, said acceleration of vaccinations encouraged the association to organize a book fair, the first since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Health Ministry announced that public and private hospitals and specialized health centers nationwide can resume elective and non-essential surgeries from Sunday due to the significant drop in coronavirus infections. “Allowing the return of operations comes due to the improvement in the epidemiological situation and the decrease in the number of COVID-19 patients, praise be to God, and the ministry’s keenness to provide the best medical services,” ministry spokesman Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad said in a statement yesterday. The decision was taken based on the recommendations of Undersecretary Dr Mustafa Reda following the ministry’s assessment of the situation, the official said. -KUNA


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