Saudi Arabia adds Sinopharm, Sinovac to list of approved vaccines; booster after Chinese jabs mandatory

Published August 25, 2021
Doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus disease are seen at the Biblioteka kod Milutina restaurant in Kragujevac, Serbia. — Reuters/File
Doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus disease are seen at the Biblioteka kod Milutina restaurant in Kragujevac, Serbia. — Reuters/File

Saudi Arabia has added the Sinopharm and Sinovac Covid-19 jabs to its list of approved vaccines, taking the total number to six, it emerged on Wednesday.

According to the Saudi Gazette, the Ministry of Health announced that there are a total of six approved vaccines in the Kingdom; Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BionTech, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Sinovac.

“In the event of giving approval to any other vaccines, it will be announced at the time through the official channels approved by the Ministry of Health and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority,” the report quoted the ministry as saying.

It added that according to the ministry, there was a possibility regarding accepting the vaccination of those who had received two doses of the said Chinese vaccines, provided that they had received a booster dose of one of the other approved vaccines.

Saudi Arabia has also eased Covid-19 restrictions for fully vaccinated residents, allowing them to directly travel to the Kingdom from countries facing a travel ban, including Pakistan.

According to a report by the Saudi Gazette, it is only applicable for those who have a valid residency permit (Iqama) and left the Kingdom on an exit and re-entry visa after taking two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from Saudi Arabia.

Currently, the countries facing the travel ban are India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Lebanon, the report said.

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