JEDDAH — The vaccination campaign against coronavirus got underway in Jeddah on Thursday after the arrival of the first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the city. The vaccine arrived in Dammam on Wednesday where the vaccination campaign is scheduled to kick-start on Sunday.
Okaz/Saudi Gazette monitored the vaccination campaign, which started at a designated site in the passenger lounge at the southern terminal of King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah. A Saudi citizen, who is in his 60s, received the first vaccine shot. The health practitioners from the Ministry of Health administered vaccine doses to those who have registered for it through the ministry’s Sehhaty (My Health) platform.
Saudi Arabia launched the largest vaccination campaign against COVID-19 last Thursday (Dec. 17), with Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah becoming the first citizen to receive the vaccine.
Announcing the launch of the vaccination campaign in Jeddah, Dr. Al-Rabiah said: “Praise be to God, the second coronavirus vaccination center has been inaugurated in Jeddah, and vaccination centers will soon be launched, God willing, in all regions of the Kingdom. I invite everyone to register through the Sehhaty app to get the vaccine,” he added.
On his part, Dr. Hani Joukhadar, the deputy minister of health for public health, said that the ministry will open vaccination centers in all regions, cities, and governorates of the Kingdom in the month of January. “The schedule of vaccination for each registered person through the Sehhaty app will be sent via text messages,” he said.
Dr. Joukhadar said the number of those who have registered for vaccination crossed half a million. “This is the last page on which we aspire to end this pandemic, through vaccination that will be provided to everyone in the Kingdom, and it is the only and ideal way to end this pandemic without any consequences.”
Dr. Joukhadar thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for their unlimited support for citizens and expatriates in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The launch of the second center of the Kingdom’s COVID-19 vaccination center in Jeddah confirms the promise made by the Ministry of Health to provide the vaccine and facilitate access to it before the end of 2020. It started last week in Riyadh city, and currently in Jeddah, and next week will witness the inauguration of the center in the Eastern Province,” he said adding that as many as 84 rooms have been readied to administer vaccines at the airport facility and they are manned by qualified and specialized health practitioners.
Meanwhile, Al-Yaum reported about the arrival of coronavirus vaccines to the Eastern Province on Wednesday via King Fahd International Airport in Dammam, and the vaccination campaign is scheduled to start Sunday at the specially designated area at Dhahran International Exhibitions Center.
Preparations are underway to open the vaccination center and a ministerial team is working to complete flawless arrangements. The center will have more than 500 clinics, in order to accommodate the largest possible number of registered people to receive the vaccine. The ministry has prepared an integrated plan, to be implemented in phases, in line with the numbers of those registered through the Sehhaty application.
Dr. Al-Rabiah announced earlier about the arrival of the first batch of the vaccine in the Kingdom on Dec. 15. He lauded the compliance of citizens and expatriates as well as companies in implementing the precautionary measures and preventive protocols, saying that this has been instrumental in bringing down the number of coronavirus infections in the Kingdom.
All citizens and expatriates in the Kingdom can register through the ministry’s mobile application of Sehhaty in the link below http://onelink.to/yjc3nj to receive the coronavirus vaccine.