Saudi Shoura Council urges King Fahd National Library to enhance digital services

Saudi Shoura Council urges King Fahd National Library to enhance digital services
Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheikh chairs a session of the council via videoconferencing in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
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Updated 29 December 2020

Saudi Shoura Council urges King Fahd National Library to enhance digital services

Saudi Shoura Council urges King Fahd National Library to enhance digital services
  • The council members reviewed the annual report of the Ministry of Health

The Shoura Council on Monday called on the King Fahd National Library to enhance work on its project to serve clients using digital means. It urged the library to encourage the use of e-books taking into account the intellectual property rights in the Kingdom.
The council also requested the library to increase coordination with all institutions of higher education particularly those which grant master’s degrees and Ph.Ds.
The council members reviewed the annual report of the Ministry of Health.
The health committee of the council presented its recommendations to the council and called on the relevant agencies to take necessary measures to increase Saudization in the private health sector. The committee also stressed the need for increasing capacities of healthcare centers to accommodate and treat more patients.
The council also praised the Health Ministry for its effective role in controlling the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
It called called for the activation of the National Center for Health Workforce Planning to help accommodate fresh Saudi medical graduates in the health sector.
The Shoura Council also reviewed the annual report of the Saudi Geological Survey. It called for the establishment of an independent research center to help relevant authorities study environmental risks and ways to overcome those challenges.


Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
Updated 16 January 2021

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
  • It will go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority

RIYADH: Preclinical studies on the first Saudi vaccine against COVID-19 have been completed.

Professor of epidemiology Dr. Iman Almansour, who heads the team of researchers working on the vaccine at the Institute for Research and Medical Consultations (IRMC), affiliated with Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU), confirmed to Arab News on Friday that the studies were complete, and said clinical trials would begin as soon as “the proper approvals” had been given.

She did not specify when that is expected to happen.

The Ministry of Education is financing the team’s project. The team’s research paper has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Pharmaceuticals.

The vaccine is given to the body to build protein inside cells, which stimulate the body to produce immunity specific to the S antigen.

Dr. Iman Almansour, professor of epidemiology

According to the published paper, the vaccine has so far proven effective, when used on animals, in eliciting antibodies that will target the virus. “The vaccine is given to the body to build protein inside cells, which stimulate the body to produce immunity specific to the S antigen,” Dr. Almansour explained.

Dr. Turki Almugaiteeb, director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at RPD Innovations, which runs the National Vaccine and Biomanufacturing Center, told Arab News: “There is a great focus on the results of medical research because of the pandemic. Research can play a great role in developing a vaccine that can be adopted and further developed in the future. We can say that the Kingdom has a strong infrastructure, which can help produce and manufacture a national vaccine.”

Both Almugaiteeb and Almansour stressed that the experimental vaccine will need to go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

Prof. Nasser Al-Aqeeli, the deputy minister of education for research and innovation, said the ministry supported programs at the Kingdom’s universities with more than SR500 million ($133.3 million) in 2020.