Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received the first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in Neom, Saudi Press Agency reported.
“Today, the king received the vaccine in order to prevent him from receiving the virus, and this initiative affirms the Kingdom’s policy is always prevention before treatment,” Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah was quoted as saying by Arab News.
In December last year, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received the first Covid-19 vaccine administered in the Kingdom, as part of the national coronavirus vaccination plan being implemented by the country’s health ministry.
The country’s deputy premier, minister of defence and Minister of Culture Prince Badr Bin Farhan also received the vaccine shot.
Saudi Arabia has reported a total of 363,582 infections and 6,282 fatalities linked to the coronavirus so far.
The virus outbreak has claimed more than 1.9 million lives in 191 countries and regions since last December.
Saudi Arabia was the second Gulf country after Bahrain to approve the use of the vaccine, which was developed by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.
The vaccination will be carried out in three stages, the ministry of health said, with each stage targeting a specific demographic.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his bother Prince Khalid bin Salman, along with several other senior Saudi officials, have already taken the first dose of the vaccine, while more than one million people have registered to receive it with more than 100,000 inoculated to date across the three vaccine centers in Riyadh, Makkah and the Eastern Province. —AP