By Nawara Fattahova
When the availability of coronavirus vaccines was first announced, many people worried about getting the vaccine. But after almost three months of vaccinations in Kuwait, people have started to slowly change their opinion regarding vaccines. Most people who had doubts thought they will wait to see what happens to those who got vaccinated. After the number of those who have received the vaccine since December reached more than 600,000, more people have started considering getting vaccinated, as no cases of death or serious health complications have been registered.
Many rumors about people who have died or experienced serious side effects after getting vaccinated have spread on social media. These rumors increased the doubts about the safety of the vaccine. It is the role of the government to raise awareness on the importance of getting vaccinated, but no official campaigns have been seen yet.
So the private sector partially took the initiative to encourage people to get the vaccine. Some companies announced special promotions for vaccinated customers, such as three months of subscription for their services. Another store selling outfits and gift items announced a 20-percent discount for vaccinated customers.
Individuals also played a role in encouraging the public to get vaccinated. Some social media influencers and celebrities took the vaccine and launched a campaign to encourage others to do so. They posted photos of themselves taking the vaccine with captions to not let the vaccinations stop.
The ministry of health announced last month that the number of people registering to get the vaccine is rapidly increasing daily. An MoH statement two weeks ago said one million of the population has registered for vaccination, so the number now is definitely higher.
Also, many people decided to get the vaccination after announcements by airlines and governments that they will only let vaccinated passengers or tourists to enter. This presents a kind of fear for people who are refusing to get vaccinated – that if they decide to travel, they won’t be able to do so without the vaccine. Many people expect more restrictions in the future that will force everyone to get vaccinated.
The government also announced letting vaccinated passengers to only stay seven days at home quarantine instead of the additional seven days in institutional quarantine after arriving to Kuwait. This applies for those who got two vaccination and two weeks pass after the last vaccination or those who got one vaccination and five weeks passed after this vaccination.