Saudi Arabia eases public concern after delays in Covid-19 vaccine supply

Second doses of Covid-19 vaccines still available for seniors without appointments

File photo: A man receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen, 20 April 2021. EPA
File photo: A man receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen, 20 April 2021. EPA

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has eased public concern after announcing a delay in second doses of Covid-19 vaccines on April 10.

The Health Ministry said on its Twitter page that a lack of global supply was the cause for a delay in second doses, which would be rescheduled as soon as possible.

It said concerns raised by the public about the delay were incorrect and that there was no cause for concern.

“The postponement was due to a lack of global supply, and for the largest possible number of members of the community to benefit from the doses available and achieve immunity provided by immunisation," the ministry said.

"Quantities will be provided and rescheduled for the second dose.”

Saudi Arabia has administered over 9.5 million doses to residents and citizens so far.

"We were one of the first countries that provided equal and free distribution of vaccines, so when suddenly we were told there's a delay for the second dose ... we panicked," Sayma Abdullah, a Saudi citizen, told The National.

"We needed to hear this from our government and now we are eagerly awaiting more vaccinations."

For now, only those above the age of 75 will receive both doses without the need for an appointment.

Saeed Ismail, another Saudi citizen, said he had heard rumours that a second dose would not be available.

"It was a big relief to hear this is not true and to receive an official clarification," Mr Ismail said.

"This worried me as we won't be able to travel, because the new travel laws only allow those who contracted the virus or have had both doses to travel."

The kingdom recorded 953 new coronavirus cases and 13 deaths on Monday, bringing the total to 420,301 cases and 6,992 deaths, with 403,702 recoveries to date.

Updated: May 4, 2021 10:08 AM

SHARE

NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to:

* Please select one