Pledge to vaccinate 300,000 this month in Bahrain

Vaccination campaign launched on December 17 is likely to cover around 679,000 expatriates and 712,000 Bahrainis

  
A Bahraini man gets a dose of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, at Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre (BIECC), in Manama, Bahrain December 24, 2020.

A Bahraini man gets a dose of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, at Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre (BIECC), in Manama, Bahrain December 24, 2020.

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Bahrain yesterday announced its ambitious plan of vaccinating an additional 300,000 of its population by the end of this month.

Steps have been taken to procure more vaccine doses from manufacturers to expand the national campaign, said Health Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Waleed Al Manea.

This means the country hopes to inoculate an average of 10,000 people a day, taking the total number of people inoculated to more than 600,000 by March end.

The figure would account for more than 40 per cent of Bahrain’s estimated adult population of 1,391,000.

The vaccination campaign launched on December 17 is likely to cover around 679,000 expatriates and 712,000 Bahrainis aged over 18 in up to 300 days, as reported earlier by our sister publication Akhbar Al Khaleej.

“An additional 300,000 doses of anti-coronavirus vaccination will be administered during the month of March,” said Dr Al Manea in a statement yesterday.

“The distribution schedule has been planned in accordance with the quantity of the orders for vaccines in place.

“These steps indicate intensified efforts of the kingdom’s national vaccination campaign and will be implemented with the arrival of the vaccine doses.”

Supreme Council for Health chairman Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa earlier said that the country had a capacity to vaccinate 5,000 individuals per day, with plans to expand it to 10,000 per day.

Dr Al Manea noted that safety and health of people is top “priority”.

He stressed the importance of Bahrainis taking the anti-virus vaccination.

“This will help us acquire adequate community immunity to prevent the transmission of the virus,” he said.

Bahrain is the only country in the GCC that offers a choice of five Covid-19 vaccines – Sinopharm, Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sputnik V and Johnson & Johnson.

Public can register for the free shot through the website healthalert.gov.bh or through the BeAware application.

“We appreciate the public demand for Covid-19 vaccination, which reflects high awareness amongst the people and their keenness and commitment towards national responsibility to preserve the health and safety of self, families and their community.”

As of yesterday 301,103 people have taken their first dose of Covid jabs.

National Taskforce for Combating Covid-19 monitoring committee head Lieutenant Colonel Dr Manaf Al Qahtani had earlier stated that Bahrain aims to vaccinate 1.1 million of its population against the coronavirus, adding that mass immunisation was the only way to combat the pandemic.

This would mean the targeted “herd immunity”, which is 70 to 80 of the adult population.

According to the United Nations data the population of the country currently stands at 1,701,575, which includes children and no details are available of the country’s exact adult population.

Vaccinations are being administered from various health centres and the King Hamad University Hospital in Bahrain.

In the latest development, Bahrain also opened Covid-19 vaccine registration for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

raji@gdn.com.bh

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