20201124 covid19 vaccine
Kuwait says it will provide COVID-19 vaccines to citizens and expats for free. Image Credit: AFP

Kuwait City: Although Kuwaiti citizens will be given priority once the COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Kuwait and will receive it for free, informed health sources say that the vaccines will be provided to expats for free as well, according to Al Qabas.

The source added that the Ministry of Health is working to provide more than one segment of the society with the vaccine in the first stage, which depends on when the vaccine arrives.

Those that have chronic diseases, the elderly and frontline workers will be the first to receive the vaccine.

Kuwait has agreed to import one million vaccines from Pfizer, 1.7 million from Moderna and three million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, the source said.

With around 5.7 million doses, Kuwait would be able to provide vaccines for around 2.8 million, two doses per person, especially since it is not recommended to be given to children under the age of 18.

According to data from the Public Authority for Civil Information, as of January 1, 2020 Kuwait’s total population was around 3.5, of that 3.2 million are above the age of 18 and thus will be eligible for the vaccine.

Public opinion

Although Kuwait has so far ordered enough vaccines for 2.8 million people, many are uncertain or against taking the vaccine.

Based on a survey done by Al Qabas, where around 10,000 people participated, 46 per cent of them said that they would refuse to take the vaccine, 39 per cent said they would take it and 15 per cent said they are not sure.