JEDDAH: A Saudi health official on Thursday poured cold water on rumors being spread about the possible negative long-term bodily effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine.
In a tweet, Dr. Abdullah Assiri, assistant deputy minister of preventive health, refuted claims that the jab could have lasting consequences.
“(The) myth (is) we don’t know the long-term effects of vaccines. The truth (however, is) vaccines in general are nearly a century old, and there is no such thing as long-term effects for any vaccine.
“The vaccine substance disappears from the body after stimulating the immune memory and nothing remains of it in the body,” he said.
Separately, the Saudi Ministry of Health’s official spokesman, Dr. Muhammad Al-Abd Al-Aly, on Wednesday won the humanitarian gong at the 12th Makkah Award for Excellence ceremony held at the Jeddah International Exhibition and Convention Center.
He scooped the award for his efforts last year in keeping the public up to speed on issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak by fronting the ministry’s daily press briefings.
Al-Aly and other winners were presented with their awards by Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia on Thursday reported 16 more COVID-19-related deaths, taking the overall toll to 7,519.
There were 1,286 new cases, meaning that 462,528 people in the country had now contracted the disease. A total of 10,217 cases remained active, of which 1,553 patients were in critical condition.
Of the newly recorded cases, 419 were in Makkah, 263 in Riyadh, 191 in the Eastern Province, and 76 in Madinah.
In addition, the Ministry of Health said 982 patients had recovered from COVID-19, increasing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 444,792.
Saudi Arabia had so far conducted 20,113,388 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, with 92,227 carried out in the past 24 hours.
Testing hubs and treatment centers set up throughout the country have dealt with hundreds of thousands of people since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Among them, Taakad (make sure) centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or only mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual. Tetamman (rest assured) clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties.
Appointments for both services can be made via the ministry’s Sehhaty app.
Meanwhile, 15,420,214 people in the country had to date received a jab against COVID-19.