Saudi Arabia adds Sinovac and Sinopharm to list of approved vaccines

Two doses are required, along with a booster shot

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health has approved Chinese Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines for use in the kingdom.

The Ministry of Health said on Tuesday there were six approved vaccines in the kingdom: Pfizer-BionTech, Johnson & Johnson, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

Those immunised with Sinopharm or Sinovac can enter Saudi Arabia if they have also had a booster dose of any approved vaccine.

“In the event of giving approval to any other vaccines, it will be announced at the time through the official channels approved by the Ministry of Health and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA),” the ministry said.

However, two doses of different vaccines can also be taken as international health studies have proven these are safe and effective. Health authorities in the kingdom said the second dose should be taken at least three weeks after the first.

The kingdom will begin the third phase of clinical trials on around 5,000 people over the age of 18 for a Covid-19 vaccine developed by China’s CanSino Biologics Inc, health authorities announced earlier this month. The trials will be conducted within the framework of the co-operation agreement between both countries.

Saudi Arabia has ramped up efforts to vaccinate pupils before schools reopen on August 29. The Ministry of Health said "99 per cent of public school pupils" aged between 12 and 18 had received the first dose.

Earlier this week, the SFDA approved the use of the Moderna vaccine for those aged between 12 and 17.

The vaccine was registered for use last month for those in the kingdom aged 17 and older.

More than 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered across the kingdom. Currently, 62 per cent of the population have taken the first dose and more than 70 per cent are expected to have had both doses by October 9.

Seven new deaths and 353 new cases were recorded on Tuesday, bringing the overall total number of infections to 542,707.

Updated: August 25th 2021, 12:36 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS