Kuwait vaccine
A man gets vaccinated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (Covishield) by a staff of Kuwaiti Ministry of Health at Al Naseem vaccination centre, in Al Jahra governorate, 40 kms north of Kuwait City in this file picture. Image Credit: AFP

Kuwait City: Dr. Khaled Al Jarallah, the head of the COVID-19 committee at Kuwait’s Ministry of Health, said on Monday plans were afoot to ramp up vaccination campaign in densely populated areas as COVID-19 continues to spread.

Both Al Ahmadi and Hawally, the two governorates with the largest populations in the country, have reported a high number of COVID-19 cases. Al Ahmadi, which is home to around 985,000 people, recorded 35 per cent of the total number of cases while, Hawally, with a population of around 946,000, accounted for 24 per cent of the total number of cases.

Strain on health care

With the rise of COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalisations, Kuwait’s health system is being squeezed. A few days ago, the government-run Al Amiri hospital reportedly reached 90 per cent occupancy. Similarly, another government hospital, Mubarak Al Kabeer, said the COVID-19 wards have reached 82 per cent capacity, while the ICUs are almost full with 92.5 per cent occupancy.

In an effort to help reduce the strain on government hospitals, on Monday the government called on the Ministry of Defence and oil companies to prepare their hospitals in case the Ministry of Health is in need.

Vaccination and COVID-19

Health officials have pointed out that in order to combat the spread of the virus, people should get vaccinated. According to the Ministry of Health, around 95 per cent of those who died due to COVID-19 were unvaccinated. In addition, more than 90 per cent of people admitted to the hospital and the ICU have not received a single jab.

Roll out

Last week, the Ministry of Health announced it has so far administered around 2.3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Out of the total number of doses administered, 923,307 people have received both jabs, which means around 22 per cent of the adult population is fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, almost 1.5 million citizens and residents have received at least one jab of the vaccine.

Kuwait is currently administering the Pfizer-BioNtech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Last month, the Ministry of Health granted emergency authorisation for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but it has yet to arrive in the country.