KUWAIT: The health ministry yesterday allowed hospitals, health centers and private clinics to purchase COVID-19 vaccines from local agents or companies producing them after being licensed and approved by the ministry to provide vaccination services. In a statement, the ministry said the permission was stated in circular no. 5/2021 issued through the health licenses department. Applicants should complete the electronic connection with the electronic platform of the ministry before starting to provide the vaccination service.

The ministry stressed the need for recipients’ data to match all the requirements of the automated COVID-19 vaccination service at the health ministry to issue vaccination certificates, indicating the need for hospitals, health centers and clinics to be located in a self-contained building that is not shared with other treatment institutions. They should also have vaccination permits from the health licensing department and commit to apply the precautionary measures recommended by the ministry of health.

The ministry also stressed the need to stick to the standards, specifications and guidelines related to transporting, storing and administering the vaccines issued by the producer and from the drug and food control sector. The ministry affirmed that the service provider bears full responsibility for the accuracy of recipients’ data, ensuring data privacy and following up on the vaccination dates of recipients with the responsibility to inform them via SMS messages of their scheduled dates for taking doses.

The health ministry also announced yesterday 1,001 people contracted the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, taking total cases to 187,005, in addition to five new fatalities, with the death toll hitting 1,062. Speaking during his daily briefing, the ministry’s official spokesperson Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad said the number of patients receiving treatment at intensive care units amounted to 147, putting the total number of confirmed cases that remain under treatment at 10,895.

Sanad added swab tests conducted over the past 24 hours reached 8,724, taking the total of such examinations to 1,755,500. He said 960 COVID-19 patients recovered over the past 24 hours, taking total recoveries to 175,048. The proportion of recoveries compared to cases is estimated at 93.6 percent.

Earlier yesterday, an official at the health ministry said the sixth batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine will arrive in Kuwait on Sunday. Speaking to KUNA, Assistant Undersecretary for Drug and Food Control Dr Abdullah Al-Bader said Kuwait is keen on battling the spread of COVID-19 by reinforcing its national immunization campaign. The ministry is in direct contract with the pharmaceutical company for supplies of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, affirmed Bader, who stressed vaccination is necessary to rid the world of this health menace. – KUNA