Minister of Health Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah shows the QR code in the digital vaccine certificate. – Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat and KUNA

KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah received yesterday the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the national vaccination campaign at Kuwait Vaccination Center in Kuwait International Fairgrounds in Mishref. His Highness the Prime Minister was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Khaled Al-Saleh and the Minister of Health Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah, who also took the second dose of the vaccine.

Sheikh Dr Basel said during the event that more than 20,000 people have already received the first dose of the vaccine in Kuwait, adding that after receiving the second dose, each individual will receive a report through SMS stating that they are vaccinated.

The health minister spoke to reporters yesterday covering the inauguration of Hall 6 at Kuwait International Fairgrounds, which is dedicated for people to receive their second dose. Sheikh Dr Basel revealed that nearly 250,000 people have already registered online to get vaccinated, further urging the entire population to do the same.

KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah receives the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Dr Basel mentioned a project in cooperation with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, in order to issue digital vaccination certificate that will be linked with the Public Authority of Civil Information. The certificate shows that its holder has received the first and second doses, the minister said, adding that it comes with a QR code to be scanned at airports around the world for verification, adding that the code will be activated every 10 minutes to guarantee it remains valid.

In the meantime, Sheikh Dr Basel warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. “The situation in Kuwait is good to the point that many people think that the pandemic is over, but the truth is that it still exits around the world,” he said. He added that the quarantine periods were increased to three weeks in some countries, and recommended that people must remain cautious and wear masks, social distance and be careful about personal and society health.

His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah exits the vaccination center after receiving the second dose.

About handling the vaccines, Sheikh Dr Basel said the ministry trained health care providers to handle various types of vaccines, and that the electronic system was activated six months ago to avoid wasting vaccine quantities and mistakes that may occur. “We will not allow for mistakes to happen in vaccination similar to what happened in some countries, including one where one person received five vaccinations,” he indicated. He said that each vaccination hall has a capacity of up to 10,000 persons, but vaccination is linked to the availability of the vaccine, with new shipments arriving weekly.

When asked about the condition of having a vaccination certificate to enter the country, he said Kuwait has not yet stipulated having a vaccination certificate for arrivals, but authorities have already linked the digital certificate with ‘Mosafer’ app just in case any other country may require it.

The minister further noted that international organizations believe that the pandemic will remain until early 2022, and in case the entire world population is vaccinated, “we can say that the pandemic is over, and new infections will be treated as individual cases such as the case with other diseases like the Swine Flu.”