More than 300,000 people have so far registered to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Saudi Arabia via the approved Sehhaty health app, according to the Kingdom’s health ministry.
The total registrations to receive the vaccine double over the past day. Dr. Abdullah Asiri, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Preventive Health in Saudi Arabia, confirmed to Al Arabiya that more than 150,000 people had registered on the first day to receive the coronavirus vaccine on Thursday.
Asiri said that public opinion polls indicated that about 60 to 70 percent of Saudi Arabian citizens and residents have agreed to receive the vaccine.
On Thursday, Saudi Arabia began the first phase of the vaccination campaign, targeting those over the age of 65 and workers in the most vulnerable professions.
Footage on Thursday showed Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Health, Tawfiq al-Rabiah, receiving the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
“Today is the beginning of the breakthrough of the crisis,” al-Rabiah told reporters.
Al-Rabiah confirmed that the vaccine will be optional and not made compulsory.
“We are keen to make the vaccine safe. We are keen to provide doses against the coronavirus for everyone,” he said.