Saudi Arabia will make coronavirus vaccine available for free to everyone: Ministry

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Saudi Arabia will make coronavirus vaccines available for free for everyone living in the Kingdom, the Ministry of Health said on Monday.

"The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to everyone in Saudi Arabia for Free... We hope to have enough vaccines to cover 70 percent of the country's population by the end of 2021," state television Al-Ekhbariya TV quoted the Ministry of Health as saying.

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Ministry of Health spokesperson Mohammed Abdelali said in the daily coronavirus press conference: "Any vaccine must be safe, effective and approved by the relevant authorities."

Saudi Arabia's coronavirus vaccine stood at 355,489 confirmed cases, 343,816 recovered patients and 5,796 deaths.

The race to producing a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus has yielded several frontrunner candidates.

Pfizer and Moderna had both announced earlier this month successful COVID-19 vaccine candidates, each more than 90 percent effective.

Russia also announced on November 9 that its coroanvirus vaccine Sputnik V was more than 90 percent effective.

AstraZeneca announced on Monday that its vaccine, developed by Oxford University, was 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

The leaders of the 20 biggest economies in the world (G20) committed at the end of the G20 Riyadh Summit on Sunday to "spare no effort" to ensure the fair distribution of vaccines against the coronavirus worldwide.

After a virtual summit hosted by Saudi Arabia, the G20 leaders said in the final communique: "We have mobilised resources to address the immediate financing needs in global health to support the research, development, manufacturing and distribution of safe and effective COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines."

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