Saudi Arabia began on Thursday the first phase of the Coronavirus vaccination campaign, targeting those over the age of 65 and workers in the most vulnerable professions, considering that the launch of the process is the beginning of a breakthrough in the pandemic crisis.
On Thursday, direct footage showed Saudi Minister of Health Tawfiq Al-Rabiah receiving the first dose of the Coronavirus vaccine, announcing “today the beginning of the breakthrough of a crisis.” He stressed that, under the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the largest vaccination process in the Kingdom began, with direct and accurate follow-up from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to launch the vaccination process.
The Saudi Minister of Health’s move comes to reassure citizens and residents of the safety of the vaccine.
Citizens and residents of the Kingdom began to receive the Corona vaccine free of charge in Saudi Arabia, while the Minister of Health confirmed that “we will have vaccine centers in all regions of the Kingdom.”
Al-Rabiah added that the vaccine will be optional and not compulsory, stressing, “We are keen to make the vaccine safe… We are keen to provide doses against Corona for everyone.”
For its part, the Infectious Diseases Committee confirmed that the vaccination process includes firstly the elderly, while the Food and Drug Committee stressed that the Corona vaccine that was approved in Saudi Arabia is safe.
Saudi Arabia had authorized a week ago to use the Pfizer/Biotech vaccine, to become the second country in the Gulf after Bahrain to give the green light to the vaccine, and its use was later authorized in Kuwait and the Sultanate of Oman, while the UAE launched a vaccination campaign against the Coronavirus in the capital Abu Dhabi days after the country officially registered the vaccine from Chinese company Sinopharm.
On Wednesday evening, the second batch of Pfizer vaccine doses had arrived at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. Earlier, the first batch arrived in Riyadh, and Al-Arabiya accompanied it.
On Tuesday, the Saudi Ministry of Health announced the start of the registration to obtain the Corona vaccine for all citizens and residents through the “My Health” application.
The ministry confirmed the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine due to its effective passage of the vaccine testing stages and the occurrence of a strong immune response and continuous antibodies, affirming that obtaining the vaccine is free for all citizens and residents, in implementation of the directives of the wise leadership.
First target group
The vaccination will be in three stages, and each stage has target groups, as the first stage targets citizens and residents who are over 65 years old, those with occupations most vulnerable to infection, people who have obesity and their body mass exceeds 40, and those with immunodeficiency such as organ transplantation or taking immunosuppressive drugs, in addition to those with two or more of the following chronic diseases: asthma, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic heart disease, including coronary artery disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and those with a history of a previous stroke.
Second and third groups
As for the target group in the second stage, they are citizens and residents who are over 50 years old, the rest of the health practitioners, and those who have one of the following chronic diseases: asthma, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic heart diseases, including coronary artery disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, active cancer, and those with obesity having a body mass of 30-40.
The group targeted in the third stage includes all citizens and residents who wish to receive the vaccine.
The Ministry of Health indicated that this step comes as a continuation of the blessed efforts and proactive steps that the Kingdom has taken since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, and it had a clear role in addressing this pandemic and preserving the health and safety of citizens and residents. The Kingdom previously announced that it will be one of the first countries that will receive vaccines that meet the effectiveness and safety standards directly from the leading international companies in the vaccine industry and through the Kovacs international facility.