JEDDAH: The Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine had been withdrawn in a limited number of European countries to ensure its safety, the spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Health said, adding that this was a “temporary and precautionary measure” commonly done with vaccines.
“We assure you that some of these countries have returned to using it after it was proven safe,” said Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly in a tweet. “We confirm that the vaccines in the Kingdom are safe and effective.”
Saudi Arabia reported five more COVID-19-related deaths on Friday. The death toll now stands at 6,556.
The Health Ministry reported 360 new cases, meaning that 381,708 people have now contracted the disease. There are 2,935 remaining active cases, with 542 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, 174 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, 59 in the Eastern Province, 45 in Makkah and 14 in Madinah.
In addition, 367 patients recovered from the disease, bringing the total to 372,217 recoveries.
Saudi Arabia has conducted 14,227,459 PCR tests, with 51,656 carried out in the past 24 hours.
Saudi health clinics set up by the ministry as testing hubs or treatment centers have helped hundreds of thousands of people around the Kingdom since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Among those testing hubs are Taakad (make sure) centers and Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual, while the Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms, such as fever, loss of taste and smell and breathing difficulties.
Appointments to either services can also be made through the ministry’s Sehhaty app.
Saudis and expats in the Kingdom continue to receive their jabs of the coronavirus vaccine and 14,227,459 PCR tests have been conducted.