Saudi Arabia is requiring booster shots in order to be considered “immune” in the country’s contact-tracing “Tawakkalna” app from Tuesday for people over 18 who were vaccinated more than 8 months ago, according to the official SPA news agency.
An “immune” status in the app is required to attend events, enter government buildings, and travel by plane or public transport.
People who were previously exempt from having to be vaccinated will not be required to receive booster shots.
Booster vaccines are available three months after a person has received their second dose.
The new regulation comes into effect after Saudi Arabia detected a record number of daily new COVID-19 cases on January 19, with 5,928 new infections reported by SPA.
Authorities announced the new “Tawakkalna” rule in early December, after the first case of the omicron variant was detected in Saudi Arabia, thought to have originated in an undisclosed north African country.
A trial version of the app was first launched in May 2020, designed to initially facilitate the issuing of movement permits when a night-time curfew was still in place.
It has since broadened in scope, adding facilities for managing various government services as the Kingdom pushes to digitalize its public sector, as revealed by SPA.
Users can access services for health, education, Hajj and Umrah, driving, insurance, passports, and others within the application.
More than 20 million people, out of a population of roughly 35 million, have downloaded the app, according to SPA.
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