Saudi Arabia’s health ministry denies approving Sinopharm, Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines

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Saudi Arabia has not approved Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines against COVID-19, the spokesperson for the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health Mohammed al-Abd al-Ali said on Sunday, denying rumors circulating online.

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However, citizens and residents who received either one of the Chinese-made vaccines can take a booster shot from any of the approved vaccines.

The four vaccines that are currently approved in the Kingdom are: Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca-Oxford.

Last week, the country’s e-visa portal said that Saudi Arabia will only allow entry to travelers who were vaccinated with Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines if they received a booster shot from one of the four approved vaccines in the Kingdom.

“Guests who have completed two doses of the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines will be accepted if they have received an additional dose of one of the four vaccines approved in the Kingdom,” the Ministry of Tourism said in a statement on the e-visa portal.

The spokesman also denied rumors that people have died in Saudi Arabia after taking a coronavirus vaccine, adding that people should not believe rumors they hear from unofficial sources.

He also encouraged people to register to receive the vaccine, saying that most of the newly recorded COVID-19 cases were among unvaccinated citizens and residents.

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