JEDDAH: China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine is set to be administered to Saudi patients after passing third stage clinical trials, but remains on hold until approved by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.
King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC) signed an agreement with China’s Sinovac Biotech to receive a vaccine for COVID-19 to be distributed to about 7,000 health workers.
The vaccine has passed the third stage of trials at the King Abdullah Center for the National Guard.
“So far there have been no health complications or allergic reactions in those who have tried the vaccine, except for a fever or mild migraine, but that is normal when vaccination is administered with any virus,” said Aref Al-Amri, head of the Department of Biomolecules and Cytogenetics at the regional laboratory in Riyadh.
KAIMRC’s vaccine unit was among 10 global bodies chosen to test and evaluate several vaccines as part of an international alliance by the World Health Organization, CEPI and NIBSC.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia reported 20 new COVID-19-related deaths on Friday, raising the death toll to 5,383. There were 398 new cases reported in the Kingdom, meaning 346,880 people have contracted the disease. There are 8,088 active cases, 766 of which are in critical condition.
According to the Health Ministry, 53 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, while Makkah recorded 32 and Jeddah 37. The ministry also announced that 404 more patients had recovered from the virus, bringing total recoveries in the Kingdom to 333,409.
There were 56,255 polymerase chain reaction tests conducted in the past day, bringing total test numbers to more than 8 million.