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Health Minister: Covid-19 vaccine to be given to most vulnerable health cadres as of next week  

Damascus, SANA- Health Minister Dr. Hassan al-Ghobash, announced on Thursday that the Ministry of Health will start giving Covid-19 vaccine to  frontline health workers who are treating patients infected with the virus as of next week in different provinces.

In a press conference, Minister al-Ghobash said that after the ministry has received a quantity of the vaccine “from a friendly country” and upon directives of President Bashar al-Assad which stem from his keenness on  health workers, the vaccination of health workers will start.

 Dr. Al-Ghobash said that the aim of starting the vaccination of health workers is to protect them from getting the infection, so that they can continue to provide the necessary health care in the best possible way within the available capabilities.

Minister al-Ghobash stated that the vaccination will begin to be given to the most vulnerable group, who are the workers at the isolation centers, with a priority for the older age group and the nature of their work.

He added that the vaccines have been approved by the authorities concerned and have been used in some countries and have demonstrated efficacy in the immunization against the disease with high rates, indicating that they are safe vaccines that are given in two doses at an interval of 21 days between the first and the second without any significant side effects

The Minister asserted that the target groups which will be vaccinated were chosen based on international standards and in accordance with the recommendations of the Global Vaccine Group, and these groups are workers at the health sector in all of its segments, adding that in the next stage, citizens will be vaccinated voluntarily, and those over the age of 55, taking into consideration those who have chronic diseases.

Minister al-Ghobash added that the ministry was able, despite the harsh conditions, the unjust siege and the limited capabilities, to contain the health damages resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic which has spread worldwide and which has reflected negatively on the economic, social and health realities, and caused the collapse of health systems in many of the countries which are advanced in this domain.

 Dr. al-Ghobash pointed out that the Ministry has formed specialized committees that include a group of specialists from all specialties with the aim of discussing the epidemiological reality at the local level, determining priorities for facing the repercussions of the pandemic and reviewing information related to the developments of the vaccine against this virus in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and others with the aim of planning to rollout the vaccine.

Minister al-Ghobash thanked heroes of the health sector who have played a major role in overcoming this pandemic in our country, whether through working at the isolation centers or providing the necessary health and medical care to the patients or those who have been in direct contact with this pandemic.

Nisreen Othman/ Ruaa al-Jazaeri

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