Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced a three-phase COVID-19 vaccination program as it began registering foreign nationals and residents after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved.
People over the age of 65, as well as those with chronic conditions or at high risk of infection, will receive the vaccine in the first stage, and those over the age of 50 in the second, the official Saudi news agency said.
All others will be vaccinated in the third stage, said SPA, citing the Ministry of Health, without specifying the data for each phase or how long the mass campaign would last.
The Gulf Kingdom has a population of over 34 million, according to official figures.
The ministry opened registration for the vaccination campaign through an online application called “Sehaty” and said the vaccine would be “free for all citizens and residents.”
Last week, the kingdom approved the use of the vaccine developed by the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTec, becoming the second country in the Gulf, after Bahrain, to light the drug.
Saudi Arabia has so far reported more than 360,000 new cases of coronavirus, including more than 6,000 deaths – the largest in the Gulf. But the kingdom also reported a high recovery rate.