Over the past year, Saudi Arabia’s response over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been thorough and multifaceted, involving the setup of testing and treatment centers, using digital platforms and mobile applications such as Tawakkalna, taking part in the research and testing of vaccines, and more. As the country continues to inoculate people with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first Arab country to do so, it has also now launched the “Health Passport” via Tawakkalna, to confirm clearly who in the country has received all doses of the vaccine.
#GoodToKnow: More than 178,000 residents in Saudi Arabia have already received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Saudi Health Ministry.— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) January 11, 2021
"We aim to provide the vaccine to all and build herd immunity in Saudi Arabia,” said a ministry spokesman. pic.twitter.com/OHYmQYxSQJ
The announcement of the health passport was made this week by the Kingdom’s Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah and Chairman of Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghamdi. Dr. Al-Rabiah, who is the first Saudi to receive the vaccine, was given his second dose this week at the COVID-19 Vaccine Center in the nation’s capital, Riyadh. The Minister isn’t the only prominent figure in Saudi Arabia to have received the vaccination this week. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman also received his first dose this week, just a day after Dr. Al-Rabiah’s second shot, a move that aims to encourage the nation to follow suit, embracing a prevention first approach.
Saudi authorities announced that the digital health passport launched by them as proof of a person's vaccinations against COVID-19 is not a requirement for travel at the present but that "some countries may impose requirements related to taking the vaccine in the future.” pic.twitter.com/Z9gFes6acn— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) January 9, 2021
Over the past months, Saudi Arabia has been working ceaselessly on curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus through various preventive measures and safety initiatives, and it has been particularly focusing on utilizing technology and innovation to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, such as with Tawakkalna, introduced by the Saudi Ministry of Health to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Tawakkalna was developed by the National Information Center. It provides live information about the number of coronavirus infections across the country and allows people in Saudi Arabia to request movement permits when needed, amongst many other features, and now also holds the newly launched Health Passport.