Saudi Arabia starts mass vaccination program against Covid-19 becoming first Arab country to roll out the Pfizer jab

The Saudi Ministry of Health has announced its mass inoculation program has commenced, and the minister himself was one of the first recipients of Pfizer’s vaccine in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia became the first country in the Middle East to start vaccinating people against Covid-19 on Thursday, the Ministry of Health confirmed in a tweet.The first doses of the US’s Pfizer jab arrived in two batches on Wednesday morning and evening. 

On Thursday, Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah spoke of his happiness and “optimism” as he received his vaccine and the program kicked off. 

“I was happy this morning to take the Corona vaccine with a group of citizens. I thank the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Highness the Crown Prince who put human health first. Today is the beginning of the breakthrough of this crisis, and we are optimistic about its end. You are healthy,” he wrote. 

In a typically impressive video, the Ministry of Health shows Al Rabiah entering a pristine, state-of-the-art hospital and receiving the vaccine. 

The health minister said the first two doses were given to a man and woman. 

An official is quoted as saying that the Kingdom is committed to the fair distribution of the vaccine, adding that foreigners and indigenous people will have an equal right to get the jab. 

Saudi Arabia became the third nation to approve the Pfizer jab last Wednesday after the UK and Canada.

The UK was the first nation to start using the jab last Tuesday and had inoculated 140,000 people as of Wednesday this week.