Children To Be Vaccinated, Community Immunity By September

In line with the plan designed by the health authorities to vaccinate the maximum number of people so as to achieve community immunity at the earliest, the Ministry of Health (MoH) is reported to be studying the viability of inoculating children between the ages of 12 and 15.

Medical and technical teams at MoH are closely following the latest developments in coronavirus infections and vaccine research, as well as updates on impact of vaccines on recipients. The teams are said to be studying the approval granted last week by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, to vaccinate children between the ages 12 to 15 years with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Kuwait could follow suit, as soon as local regulatory authorities grant approval.

Nevertheless, health sources have maintained that the priority in distributing available vaccines will be to the elderly and people with special needs, as well as those having chronic diseases and risk factors, and others eligible for the vaccine.

Health authorities are optimistic that the country will be able to achieve community immunity by September, provided the vaccination drive maintains its current pace and people continue to cooperate and support the vaccination campaign.

In a reflection of the growing pace of vaccination in the country, more than 10,000 people are reported to have been vaccinated on the first day of Eid. To cater to the increased numbers, the main vaccination center in Mishrif remained open on Thursday, the first day of Eid-al-Fitr, from 12 noon until 7pm before closing for the Eid holidays. Vaccinations are now planned to resume at the center on Sunday, with new timings from 8am until 8pm.

The estimates are that by early September, Kuwait will be able to vaccinate around three million people, which should cover nearly two-third of the country’s population needed to achieve community immunity. This would also allow the authorities to enable the restoration of most services and permit the attendance of students in classrooms when schools reopen for a new scholastic year in September. Achieving community immunity would also allow for resumption of what could be a new ‘normal’ life, for everyone.



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