MOH News

MOH Spokesman: One Vaccine Dose and Infection-induced Immunity Not Enough for Protection against COVID-19 Variants
19 September 2021

MOH spokesman, Dr. Muhammad Al-Abdulaali, said that pandemic indicators in the Kingdom are low and continue to decline. Nearly 6 billion people in the world have received the vaccine, which means that steady steps are taken towards countering this pandemic. 

“The Saudi National Day is approaching, and everybody’s responsibility towards the Kingdom involves taking the two doses of the vaccine and adhering to the protective measures. Taking one dose and getting immunized is not enough to protect against COVID-19 variants,” he added. 

People who have taken the two doses are usually prone to minimal risks from the virus, which shows the importance of the vaccine. Dr. Al-Abdulaali also alluded to the MOH’s campaign entitled “Kammilha” (Complete It) to encourage people to complete their vaccinations. 

Over 40 million doses of the vaccine have been given to people across the Kingdom in 587 centers. More than 17.7 million people have received the two doses. 

Al-Abdulaali revealed that 70 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the Kingdom, bringing the total to 546,549. These include 2,357 active cases, still receiving medical care. Their health status is mostly stable, with the exception of 343 critical cases. 

The MOH spokesman made this statement in the COVID-19 briefing held on Sunday, with the participation of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) spokesman, Mr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Hussein and spokesman of the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP), Mr. Yasser Al-Hakami. Al-Abdulaali mentioned that 81 COVID-19 recoveries were reported, bringing the total number of recoveries to 535,531 to date. 5 new mortalities were reported, bringing the total mortalities to 8,661.

For his part, Al-Hussein said that the Kingdom is celebrating a special occasion these days. “May our country and all Saudis be well. The Saudi National Day is a happy occasion for all of us, with a lot of discounts and commercial competitions that benefit consumers and are electronically permitted by MOC,” he added.  

More than 2,700 establishments and online stores have obtained discount permits on the Saudi National Day. The total number of discounted products exceeds 7 million. The top goods discounted this season include: clothes, furniture, perfumes, watches, gold and jewelries, and foodstuffs in the last rank. 

Consumers should be aware of their three rights before they go shopping. Establishments must be given licenses by MOC and must display their licenses for consumers to look at. Moreover, they must indicate the discount percentage. The price of products before and after a discount must be printed on the product label. 

MOC spokesman encouraged shoppers to download the “Get Sales” application, which lets them keep up with discounts in all regions. This application provides five basic advantages to consumers. It enables them to check the validity of discounts and make sure they are real by scanning the barcode which shows the complete discount data and detailed information on each store. It also allows consumers to check the validity of licenses, report fake sales, search for favorite products in an updated database, find out the duration of offers and the percentage of discounts, and locate nearby stores that offer discounts via the map service.

If consumers see offers they are interested in, they can scan the barcode and view the full information of the offer. If no information shows up then the offer is fake. In that case, the application will automatically redirect them to the “Commercial Violation” application to report the fake discount. 

Al-Hussein mentioned that during the Saudi National Day season shopping sees a boom, which is why MOC will be paying special attention to establishments with a capacity of more than 100 individuals to ensure that the maximum capacity isn't exceeded in all cases. 

Noteworthy, fines of SAR 100,000 will be imposed on violating establishments, and will be doubled if the violation was repeated. 

Regarding monitoring commercial establishments’ adherence to the precautionary measures, more than 110,000 rounds were implemented by MOC in Muharram, and over 3,250 instant violations were recorded in these rounds. They mostly involved neglecting wearing face masks and adhering to proper sterilization measures, and not measuring body temperature. 

Noteworthy, over the past couple of months, commercial establishments, markets and malls have shown great awareness and adherence to the protective measures, as only vaccinated individuals were allowed to enter these establishments. The maximum capacity was not exceeded. 
Because only vaccinated individuals are allowed to enter, and gatherings are managed properly, MOC allowed these establishments to hire influencers to advertise for them. It also allowed field coverage of these events, and permitted holding contests. However, all facilities are completely responsible for any violations that take place. 

For his part, Mr. Yasser Al-Hakami expressed his gratitude for the efforts the Saudi leadership makes to ensure the number of COVID-19 cases declines as levels of awareness increase among citizens and residents who are seeking to get vaccinated. Developing the COVID-19 vaccines was the fruit of hard work made by innovative companies that are specialized in that field. The results of their research are protected by several intellectual property laws. An example of that includes patents of medications and vaccines.

Al-Hakami alluded to the announced statement regarding the Kingdom’s stance at the meeting of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS Agreement) at the World Trade Organization, in which the Kingdom called on countries to bear the responsibility of overcoming this pandemic by making vaccines available to everybody at reasonable prices. It also called on them to ensure that intellectual property would not be an obstacle to promoting vaccine production for non-commercial purposes and fair access worldwide. 

Additionally, the Kingdom urged all countries to move forward in the negotiations involving the waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, in order to reach a text-based consensus as soon as possible. 

In the same context, the Kingdom is keen on supporting the initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) with the participation of multiple countries. It aims to share the development of medicines, vaccines and diagnostics, as well as publish all results with transparency. The initiative also urges countries where vaccine manufacturers have headquarters to facilitate the transfer of technology to other countries wishing to manufacture the vaccines locally.

Last Update : 20 September 2021 03:50 PM
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