Health Care

More than 20,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine given in Kuwait – minister

– The number of people to have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in Kuwait has surpassed 20,000 so far, the country’s health minister said on Thursday, nearly a month into the national rollout.

Around a quarter of a million people have registered for vaccinations since the online platform was launched, Sheikh Dr. Basel Al-Sabah told reporters as he was given his second dose of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, which has already been granted regulatory approval in Kuwait.

Urging his compatriots and expatriates alike to register for their shots, the minster said people who are inoculated in Kuwait will get an electronic vaccination certificate akin to an “immunity passport” that will be checked for authenticity at foreign airports, he revealed.

“Contrary to popular belief, this pandemic is not over yet, despite an overall stable situation in Kuwait,” he said, adding that prevention measures such as social distancing and the wearing of masks will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

On Kuwait’s vaccination drive, he said the country’s healthcare workers have been “well-trained” to handle vaccines of all forms, which is necessary to avoid “dose waste” and unwanted glitches in national vaccination centers that can accommodate up to 10,000 people.

On when it would be time to ditch face masks in public, the minister said it would still be “premature” even after vaccination, citing World Health Organization prognostications that pre-pandemic normalcy is likely to return in 2022, once “herd immunity” is reached.

On a day that health ministry spokesman Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad hailed as “historic”, senior Kuwaiti officials were given their second doses of COVID-19 vaccines, joining more than 32 million people around the world to have taken the jab, he said

Source: Kuwait News Agency