RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Neom, Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.
Minister of Health, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, thanked the king, “who provided all types of support in the interest of citizens and residents since from the beginning of the pandemic until this day.”
Al-Rabiah added: “Today, the king received the vaccine in order to prevent him from receiving the virus, and this initiative affirms the Kingdom’s policy is always prevention before treatment.”
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Saudi Arabia was the second Gulf country after Bahrain to approve the use of the vaccine, which was developed by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.
The vaccination will be carried out in three stages, the ministry of health said, with each stage targeting a specific demographic.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his bother Prince Khalid bin Salman, along with several other senior Saudi officials, have already taken the first dose of the vaccine, while more than one million people have registered to receive it with more than 100,000 inoculated to date across the three vaccine centers in Riyadh, Makkah and the Eastern Province.