Saudi Minister gets covid vaccine as Kingdom offers free shots

Tawfiq al-Rabiah receives the coronavirus vaccine in Riyadh.

Photographer: Fayez Nureldine / AFP / Getty Images

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Saudi Arabian Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah received a shot of Pfizer Inc. coronavirus vaccine. and BioNTech SE, a day after the kingdom received its first batch of the vaccine.

“Today marks the beginning of relief from this crisis,” he told Ekhbariya TV, which is run by the state. “In the last nine months, I have looked closely at the number of cases recorded. But today, I look happily at the number of those who are vaccinated. ”

Saudi Arabia intends to offer the vaccine free of charge to all residents of the country. The country, which has reported about 360,000 cases and 6,080 deaths, began building coronavirus cleaners since May. Officials have not imposed any new blockade since then, and the country has so far avoided another wave of disease.

Saudi Arabia earlier this week asked citizens and residents to sign up for their vaccination program. The first stage involves those most vulnerable to the disease, while the second and third stages target those over 50 before the vaccine is available to the general public.

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– Supported by Farah Elbahrawy