As Saudi Arabia continues to successfully keep the number of COVID-19 cases under control, its Minister of Health, Dr. Tawfik Al Rabiah, announced that the Kingdom will also be providing vaccines for free in pharmacies across the country as part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to expand its ongoing inoculation campaign, launched in December 2020, and facilitate access to vaccine sites.
According to various news reports, both nationals and residents living in Saudi Arabia are eligible to get vaccinated for free. All they have to do is present a valid national ID (for citizens) and residency permits (for non-nationals) and register on the Sehaty app to receive their doses. This app was developed under the supervision of the Ministry of Health and helps users to access and book health services in the Kingdom, as well as access health information and medical e-services provided by different health organizations in Saudi Arabia.
#GoodToKnow: Saudi Arabia’s health minister said authorities must prepare ahead of Hajj season by making "the coronavirus vaccine a prerequisite for those who would like to perform Hajj." pic.twitter.com/sAuGwtUv7e— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) March 2, 2021
In addition, Saudi Arabia has set up drive-through vaccination centers in four cities this month, in Riyadh, Mecca, Medina, and Abha, and they have already proven very popular, due to the privacy, convenience, and feeling of safety you get by being vaccinated in your own vehicle, the latter a primary concern for many especially the elderly who have valid fears of visiting health centers and being in the presence of possible infected people.
Cyprus placed Saudi Arabia in the “most favorable” green category for travel, which means people traveling from Saudi Arabia to the country will not have to quarantine. pic.twitter.com/Jc5jBL9B4F— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) March 2, 2021
Aside from the four drive-through facilities, Saudi Arabia has already opened over 100 vaccination centers across the nation since the start of its nationwide campaign last December, with some news reports putting the number at over 250 centers. The Kingdom’s universities are also planning to join the inoculation efforts by setting up vaccination centers as well, making the vaccines available to the general public, as well as to faculty members and their family members.
Saudi Arabia’s second phase of vaccinations was kickstarted in February, and the Kingdom already administered almost one million vaccines to date since the start of its efforts, with many more planned. The two vaccines being administered in the Kingdom so far are the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.