Kuwait to make Covid-19 Vaccine booster compulsory

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Kuwait will require anyone who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for nine months to get a booster shot, the government communication centre tweeted on Monday.

Kuwait will also require incoming travelers to quarantine at home for 10 days unless they receive a negative PCR test for the coronavirus within 72 hours of their arrival.

Many countries are rolling out COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, but there is no consensus among scientists that they are necessary and the World Health Organization wants the most vulnerable people worldwide to be fully vaccinated first.

The WHO on Dec. 9 largely stuck to its earlier guidance that only people with health issues or inactivated vaccine should get boosters.

However, concern about the emergent Omicron variant of the coronavirus has led some countries to expand their booster programmes or narrow the gap between the shots.

US health regulators on Nov. 19 expanded eligibility for booster shots to all fully vaccinated adults.

The US CDC took a stance more cautious than previously and said on Nov. 30 everyone over 18 should get a booster shot as Omicron’s emergence emphasized the importance of vaccination.

Top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said booster doses of currently available COVID-19 vaccines work against the Omicron strain and there appears to be no need for variant-specific boosters.Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization is recommending booster shots of an authorized mRNA vaccine to those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on Nov. 24 recommended vaccine boosters for all adults, with priority for those over 40. Previously it had suggested the extra doses should be considered for frail older people and those with weakened immune systems.

The European Commission proposed on Nov. 25 that EU residents should need to have COVID-19 vaccine booster jabs if they want to travel to another country in the bloc next summer free of tests or quarantines.

The European Commission is recommending vaccinated people receive booster doses no more than six months after their initial shots, with a further three-month grace period for their COVID travel passes to be valid.—AP

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