Coronavirus: Oman receives batch of vaccines from India

Ministry of Health said on Sunday that 100,000 vaccination doses arrived

FILE PHOTO: A vial of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is seen ahead of being administered at the Royal Victoria Hospital, on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the British history, in Belfast, Northern Ireland December 8, 2020. Liam McBurney/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
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Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured under licence by the Serum Institute of India arrived in Oman at the weekend, ready for the next phase of the sultanate's vaccination campaign. 
"We are thankful to the Indian authorities for this gesture of providing us with the vaccines. We are planning to start vaccination sometime this week or early next week," the Ministry of Health said.
An Indian embassy official in Muscat said that India was grateful to Oman for allowing Indian nationals easy access to testing for coronavirus.

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"We are impressed and happy with the government of Oman to allow Indian nationals to do Covid-19 tests free of charge from the very beginning without any prejudice of nationality," the official told The National.

"The vaccination doses to Oman is to show our deep gratitude and it is part of maintaining good relations between the two countries."
Oman began its vaccination campaign using Pfizer-BioNTech inoculations on December 7 last year. Since then, about 30,000 people were vaccinated.
In a separate statement to Oman Television on Sunday, the health ministry urged people to take the vaccinations and not respond to social media rumours.
"Some people stayed at home with the first batch, but the message is clear that the vaccination of Covid-19 is safe with no adverse side effects. We ask everyone to refrain from responding to rumours circulating in social media," the Oman Television report said.
Oman reported an average of 166 daily infections in January 2021 and a total of 11 deaths from the virus.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 134,326 people have been infected by the coronavirus and 1,529 have died from Covid-19 in Oman, according to Worldometers figures.
Oman is expected to re-open its land and air borders on February 1 after a closure of two weeks.

It also banned all functions such as weddings, exhibitions, seminars and conferences indefinitely from last Thursday, including the reopening of schools and universities.