Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths
Saudi Arabia announced 4 deaths from COVID-19 and 175 new infections on Wednesday. (File/SPA)
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Updated 13 January 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 356,013
  • A total of 6,304 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

LONDON: Saudi Arabia announced 4 deaths from COVID-19 and 175 new infections on Wednesday.
Of the new cases, 45 were recorded in the Eastern Province, 43 in Riyadh, 43 in Makkah, 9 in Madinah, 8 in Asir, 6 in Najran and 3 in Jazan.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 356,013 after 156 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,304 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.


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.