Saudi to vaccinate 2.7 million students before the start of academic year

Riyadh:  The education department of Saudi Arabia has started an awareness campaign across the Kingdom to vaccinate students aged 12-18 with the COVID-19 vaccine, the Saudi Press Agency( SPA) reported on Friday.

The ministry of education plans to vaccinate 2,726,516 students through the vaccination centers approved by the ministry of health before the start of the new academic year—2021-2022, in preparation for the safe return of students to schools. This step comes within the framework of the Saudi leadership’s directives to preserve public health, SPA said.

The ministry of education called on its employees, educational, administrative and supervisory staff, and students in all specified age groups to expedite obtaining the vaccine, in order to preserve their health and safety, and to contribute to the return to normal life as well. This is to ensure the regularity of the educational process for the next academic year.

The ministry said that it witnessed great interaction and interest from parents and families to take the initiative and vaccinate their children, SPA added.

Earlier on June 27, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health (MoH) announced to start inoculating Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine for children between 12 to 18 years after it was approved by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved in the Kingdom for people above 18 years of age in December 2020.

The Saudi MoH said that this step comes as a continuation of its efforts to expand the vaccination process, after vaccinating 70 percent of the adult population in the Kingdom, according to progress in community coverage, priority categories, and the availability of vaccine supplies.

The Kingdom on Friday reported 16 new COVID-19 related deaths, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,848.

The ministry of health confirmed 1,338 new cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 490,464 people have now contracted the disease.