Saudi Arabia Health Ministry announces the commencement of COVID-19 vaccination program
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia Health Ministry announced that they have started the vaccination program for the novel coronavirus.
In a tweet, Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah, who received the vaccine, said, "In the last nine months, I was observing with concern the number of cases, today I will happily observe the number of people who will get the vaccine."
On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia received the first two shipments of the vaccine, becoming the first country in the Middle East to receive a vaccine developed by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech. It was only last week when the vaccine was approved for use.
The vaccine is free of cost to the citizens. First users of the vaccine would be residents above 65 years, professionals at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19, as well as people with immune deficiency and chronic disease.
Later, during the second and the third round of vaccination, it will be given to the people who are over 50 years old and with specific chronic diseases like asthma and diabetes.
As of Thursday, Saudi Arabia has reported a total of 360,335 coronavirus cases and 6,080 deaths.