In a Twitter post published on Friday, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development said that “Receiving a coronavirus vaccine will be a mandatory condition for male and female workers to attend workplaces in all sectors (public, private, non-profit).” It has called on all employees to start registering for a jab to ensure a “safe and healthy” return to their workplace. The ministry’s statement stressed the importance of complying with precautionary measures and health requirements for the safety of employees. The ministry said it would soon clarify the procedure and the date when the decision comes into force.
The measure comes as part of the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus. Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry has so far administered more than 10 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine and vaccinated nearly 29 percent of its population. The kingdom has been administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and has also recently approved the AstraZeneca and Moderna jabs.
Saudi Arabia is reporting roughly 1,000 new infections each day, with the total number of cases at more than 423,000 and over 7,000 deaths.
The WHO released a policy brief on mandatory vaccinations in April in which it said that, although such measures may be crucial to protect public health and wellbeing, it would raise a number of ethical concerns and “interfere with individual liberty and autonomy.”