Saudi ministry: Single vaccine dose does not provide ‘sufficient immunity’ to protect from coronavirus

Health Ministry reports 1,136 new cases, 980 recoveries, 10 deaths

  
A nurse from home vaccination campaign for the elderly checks the temperature of a woman before she receives a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 3, 2021.

A nurse from home vaccination campaign for the elderly checks the temperature of a woman before she receives a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 3, 2021.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri
 
JEDDAH: A single vaccine dose does not provide sufficient immunity to protect from coronavirus, the Saudi Ministry of Health said on Friday, urging Saudis to follow up on vaccination efforts with second doses.

The ministry’s statement came in response to a query about the importance of receiving a second jab.

Health authorities added that there are four approved vaccines in the Kingdom: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. If any other vaccine is approved, it will be announced in a timely manner through official channels, the ministry said.

The date of a second dose appointment will be rescheduled in the event of a coronavirus infection after the first dose, to a time period following “six months of recovery,” the ministry added.

Based on recent studies and recommendations, the ministry also said that it is generally acceptable for pregnant women to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and that it does not require postponing pregnancy.

The vaccine does not pose a risk to the breastfeeding process, the ministry added, recommending that the vaccine be given to breastfeeding women, because “the desired benefit prevails over the potential harm.”

Meanwhile, the ministry repeated warnings to Saudis that they should allow a period of at least 14 days between receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine, including measles or mumps jabs.

Saudi Arabia reported 10 more COVID-19-related deaths on Friday. The death toll now stands at 7,224.

The Ministry of Health reported 1,136 new cases, meaning that 438,705 people have now contracted the disease. There are 8,775 active cases, 1,331 of which are in critical condition.

According to the ministry, 342 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, 276 in Makkah, 150 in the Eastern Province and 73 in Madinah.

In addition, 980 patients recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries over the course of the pandemic to 422,706.

Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 18,370,537 PCR tests, with 81,678 carried out over the past 24 hours.

Saudi health clinics set up by the ministry as testing hubs or treatment centers have helped hundreds of thousands of people around the Kingdom since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Among those testing hubs are Taakad (make sure) centers and Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.

Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected person, while Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms, such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties.

Appointments to either service can also be made through the ministry’s Sehhaty app.

Saudis and expats in the Kingdom are continuing to receive COVID-19 jabs, with 12,529,057 people having been inoculated so far.

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