Saudi Arabia has begun the largest vaccination campaign against COVID-19, with Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah becoming the first citizen to receive the vaccine.
On Thursday, TV footage showed Al-Rabiah receiving the first dose of the vaccine, and announcing that “today is the beginning of the breakthrough of a crisis.” The minister’s move aims to reassure citizens and expatriates about the safety of the vaccine. “The vaccine will be optional and not compulsory,” he clarified.
Dr. Al-Rabiah stressed that the largest vaccination process in the Kingdom began in line with the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, and with direct and regular follow-up from Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman to launch the vaccination process. “We are keen to provide doses to all,” he said after receiving the shots.
Citizens and expatriates in the Kingdom began to receive the vaccine free of charge. The minister said: “We will have vaccine centers in all regions of the Kingdom. We are keen to make the vaccine safe and provide doses against coronavirus for everyone.”
After receiving the vaccine, Dr. Al-Rabiah said: “I took the vaccine at the first vaccination center, which has more than 550 clinics, and we will have vaccination centers in all regions. During the last nine months, I have been following with concern the numbers of infections, and today I will start following up the numbers of those receiving vaccination.”—INP