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Al-Rabiah: Kingdom Receives First Batch of COVID-19 Vaccine
16 December 2020

​​​HE the Health Minister, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah has announced the arrival of the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Kingdom today (Wednesday).

“I am pleased to inform citizens and residents about the arrival of the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine today in Riyadh, and I hope that it will mark the beginning toward the end of the crisis”, the minister said at the Saudi Budget Forum here on Wednesday.

The minister has applauded the unlimited support to the health sector rendered by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his Crown Prince - may Allah protect them - to contribute to realizing many achievements and improving health service provided for citizens. "The budget brings auspicious tidings and features several projects for advancing the health work process in our beloved country and upgrading the performance level at health facilities", he added.

Addressing the forum, which was also attended by the Minister of Finance, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Al-Rabiah pointed out that the total number of individuals who have registered via “Sehhaty” App to get the vaccine reached 150,000 since the launch of the registration yesterday, Tuesday. He called on everyone to register in order to get an appointment for vaccination.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the government decided to provide free treatment for Saudis and non-Saudis, including residence violators, he said.  He added that the vaccine will be free of charge to everyone in order to ensure their safety and priority will be given to those who are over 65 years because they are most vulnerable to infection and death. The priority is also for those with chronic disease and health practitioners.

In response to a question, he said, “Since the outbreak of the pandemic in China last January, the leadership has formed a committee under the chairmanship of the Health Minister and membership of 18 government agencies to deal with the crisis, and a higher committee chaired by the Crown Prince.
He pointed out that the committee started its work at the beginning of last February on a daily basis to get acquainted with the latest information and mechanism to deal with the pandemic. Since that time we worked to provide whatever the health sector’s needs of medical supplies including ventilators. It was a challenge for us because some countries refused to sell their products, however with the support of our wise leadership we were able to bring our needs. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our leadership for providing us with the funds we requested, in an urgent and flexible manner, as they place human health above other considerations, he said.  
He said that the state has taken historic and extraordinary decisions including suspending Umrah season, halting workplace attendance in government agencies, and offering virtual education as part of the precautionary measures.
Al-Rabiah said that the early preparations and arrangements made by the ministry have contributed significantly in containing the pandemic. The ICU bed capacity has been increased by 60% in 3 months with the great support of the leadership. He highlighted the sacrifices made by the health heroes, and the order of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to grant 500,000 riyals to families of health workers who died from COVID-19. 

Last Update : 17 December 2020 06:30 PM
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