DUBAI: The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) on Thursday has approved the use and importation of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.
The SFDA gave clearance for the administration of the jab based on data provided by the manufacturers, but will test the vaccine once they receive the shipments, state news agency SPA reported.
The authority uses a scientific process to approve vaccines based on safety and efficacy results of clinical studies and other data provided by manufacturers, the report added.
Saudi Arabia’s Armed Forces also announced on Wednesday that they will be inoculating their employees against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
— Saudi Food & Drug Authority (@Saudi_fda_en) February 18, 2021
Maj. Gen. Mohammed Al-Balawi, deputy commander of the Saudi Air Defense Forces, held a meeting to review the plans and initiatives.
Leaders from the Kingdom’s regions, air bases, fleets and other groups were in attendance, along with a team from the Ministry of Defense’s temporary crisis support cell for the coronavirus pandemic.
They urged employees to register their data through their units in the ministry’s inoculation system and to continue to adhere to precautionary measures.
The Kingdom launched its coronavirus vaccination campaign on Dec. 17, 2020 after receiving its first consignment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine a day before in an effort to control the outbreak.
Saudi Arabia is the second country in the Gulf Cooperation Council, after Bahrain, to use the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after it was approved by SFDA.