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Herd immunity expected in October as quarter of Saudi population receives two doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 04 - 08 - 2021

RIYADH — As of Tuesday, more than 28 million doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered through 587 vaccine centers located in all cities and governorates across the Kingdom, according to the latest figures.
More than 19 million people, equivalent to 56 percent of the total Saudi population, have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The number of those who received two doses of the vaccine reached about eight million, representing 25 percent of the population.
The Kingdom continues going ahead vigorously with its plan to vaccinate at least 70 percent of its population with the aim of achieving herd immunity within an expected period of two months, which corresponds to early October of this year. The average number of doses given daily reached 365,000 doses.
Saudi Arabia has introduced recently a series of preventive measures aimed at combating the spread of coronavirus with limiting access to only vaccinated people to public places as well as to public and private entities.
It has begun applying the decision on making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory to enter government and private entities, effective from Aug. 1. Vaccination is mandatory for entry to all economic, commercial, cultural, entertainment and sporting activities, as well as to all government and private establishments and educational institutions, in addition to the use of public transportation.
This will be followed by air travel restrictions also. The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) recently issued a directive that Saudis will be banned from traveling abroad without receiving the two doses of the vaccine, starting on Aug. 9. The Tawakkalna application will be used to check the immunization status of citizens and residents.
The Ministry of Education announced last Sunday that offline classes for intermediate and secondary phases of public school education would be resumed for those students who received two doses of coronavirus vaccine.
According to the ministry spokesperson, starting offline classes for students of elementary schools and kindergartens will be linked either to achieving herd immunity by receiving two doses of vaccine by 70 percent of the Saudi population or on Oct. 30, 2021, whichever comes first.
The Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday that the total number of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom reached 528,952 while the recovery rose to 510,107 cases and the total number of death cases reached 8,270.


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