Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed Pfizer logo. Reuters
Saudi Arabia on Thursday approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech novel coronavirus vaccine, state media reported, becoming the second Gulf country after Bahrain to green-light the drug.
"The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA)... has approved the registration of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia," it said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.
"Health authorities in the kingdom can import and use the vaccine," it added.
The SFDA did not specify when it would begin the rollout of the vaccine by US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.
Last week, Bahrain announced it had approved the emergency use of the same vaccine. Britain and Canada have also approved it.
The SFDA said it will analyse samples from "each incoming vaccine shipment before using it" to ensure quality standards.
Saudi Arabia has so far recorded nearly 360,000 novel coronavirus cases, including more than 6,000 deaths.
Along with Health Minister Tawfiq Al Rabiah, a woman in a wheelchair and another man were among the first to be administered the vaccine at a centre in Riyadh, on Thursday.
The fresh suspensions were a major blow to a global immunisation campaign that experts hope will help end a year-long pandemic that has already killed over 2.6 million people and decimated the global economy.
The companies have sold the vast majority of their doses to rich countries, leaving low-income nations in the lurch, said the People's Vaccine Alliance (PVA), a coalition campaigning for wider access to COVID vaccines...
In a recent survey, people who said social distancing and COVID-safety guidelines violated their personal freedoms responded more positively to these ideas when they felt a loved one might be at risk of severe illness.
This came during His Highness' reception of the Dutch Prime Minister today at Qasr Al Shati in Abu Dhabi, where His Highness welcomed Rutte and expressed his hope that the visit would contribute to advancing UAE-Netherlands relations in key fields.
A number of senior officials and members of the UAE Embassy in the Sultanate of Oman were also among the recipients.
More than 13,500 people - about 12% of the region's population - have fled across the border since Azerbaijan’s swift military operation to fully reclaim the region after three decades of separatist rule, Armenia's government said Tuesday morning.
President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a message of condolences to Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, on the death of Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.