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Saudi to offer Covid-19 vaccine for free to citizens and residents

Saudi to offer Covid-19 vaccine for free to citizens and residents

The ministry aims to cover 70 per cent of the country’s population – that has not yet contracted Covid-19 – by the end of 2021

Saudi virus

Saudi Arabia plans to offer Covid-19 vaccines for free to all the citizens and residents living in the country, the kingdom’s Ministry of Health said on Monday.

The ministry is aiming to have enough vaccines to cover 70 per cent of the country’s population, who have not yet contracted Covid-19, by the end of 2021, officials told local media.

“Saudi Arabia is obtaining vaccines for public health purposes and therefore it has not included them on the list of products that are chargeable,” Saudi’s deputy health minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Asiri told Al-Ekhbariya TV.

“Those who have not tested positive for Covid-19 will be given priority in the vaccine campaign in the coming months,” he said.

“Most of the coronavirus vaccines are administered twice, except one. Children under 16 years of age will be excluded from receiving the vaccine at this stage,” he added.

Al-Asiri also said the kingdom had planned a clear schedule for the arrival of vaccinations.

“The kingdom worked on two paths to obtain the vaccine, through the Covax organisation, which the G20 had a role in creating and financing.

“Saudi Arabia will obtain a large amount of vaccines through this facility, while the second track is direct contracting with the big companies to cover the gap that cannot be covered through Covax,” he was quoted as saying.

Health ministry officials also stressed that they will only take delivery of vaccines that meet specific specifications and are approved by the concerned authorities.

Saudi Arabia announced 231 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, taking the total number of reported infections to 355,489.

It also announced 16 deaths due to the virus, with the death toll reaching 5,796.

Officials urged people to strictly adhere to the Covid-19 precautionary measures and preventive protocols to ensure their health and safety.

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