MoH starts nationwide flu vaccination

Updated 13 October 2015
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MoH starts nationwide flu vaccination

RIYADH: The Ministry of Health (MoH) launched a nationwide vaccination campaign against seasonal flu on Sunday.

Speaking at the launch held at the MoH headquarters, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Saeed, deputy minister of public health, said the campaign has targeted at least 1.5 million people in all parts of the Kingdom.
The vaccines will be available in 275 hospitals and at 2,259 primary health care centers throughout the Kingdom. He said the vaccination will be available free-of-charge to all those who want to avail themselves of this annual service. It was revealed that the ministry is considering making the flu vaccination mandatory on all pilgrims who will be coming for Haj pilgrimage next year.
Vaccination against meningitis is compulsory on all foreign Umrah and Haj pilgrims visiting the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.
General Supervisor of the National Program Dr. Musallam Abu Hassan said the ministry focuses on vaccination on the vulnerable categories of people that include pregnant women, people suffering from chronic ailments such as diabetes, cardiac, renal and hypertension patients, and children from six months to five years of age.
He also said that the flu vaccine will prevent the seasonal influenza too.
This year, he said the flu shots were already given to 90 percent of the health officials. Last year, only 20 percent was covered among the health care personnel, he added.
According to the Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.



The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Traditional flu vaccines (trivalent vaccines) are made to protect against three flu viruses – an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus.
There are also flu vaccines made to protect against four flu viruses (quadrivalent vaccines). These vaccines protect against the same viruses as the trivalent vaccine and an additional B virus.


We have a story to share with the Saudi people, says new US official in Riyadh

Cultural and educational exchange programs between Saudi Arabia and the United States help build stronger ties. (AN photo)
Updated 19 September 2018
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We have a story to share with the Saudi people, says new US official in Riyadh

  • We have a story to tell and a story to share in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi people. We are pleased that so many Saudis want to study in the United States: US Public Affairs Counselor in KSA

RIYADH: Cultural and educational exchange programs between Saudi Arabia and the United States “help build stronger ties between the two countries and bring them closer together,” according to Brian Shott, the new US Public Affairs Counselor in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at a reception to welcome him at the US embassy in Riyadh on September 18, he said: “One of the main things we do is we try to share aspects of the United States and of American culture, but we also learn from Saudis and Saudi culture.” 

In her opening speech, the embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Martina Strong also highlighted the enduring relationship between the two countries, saying: “Tonight is a celebration, a celebration of a friendship that has extended over many, many decades.”

Shott, who previously served in Morocco, Cairo and Baghdad, will be in Saudi Arabia for the next two years, during which he will promote educational and cultural exchanges.

“There are some real opportunities here and we have been fortunate enough to be able take advantage of partnerships with Saudi organizations and Saudi agencies, whether it is the General Authority for Culture or the Ministry of Education,” he said.

“We have a story to tell and a story to share in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi people. We are pleased that so many Saudis want to study in the United States.”

Meanwhile, the reception also served as a farewell to Robin Yeager, the cultural attache in Riyadh. She said that it had been a “very dynamic time to be in Saudi Arabia. It has been a pleasure and an honor to be here at a time when I get to know first-hand the future that Saudis are trying to build.”

The night that women were were given the right to drive, she said she went out and saw the “thrill on their faces.” To assist with empowerment and other progressive policies, embassy staff work on social issues and provide leadership training for women’s groups, she said.

“It is beautiful because they take something that an American expert talks to them about and they turn it into the Saudi way to approach it,” she added. “It’s not that we are changing things; it’s that we are giving them tools, so they can build what they want to build.”