Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Friday as the health authorities began rolling out the treatment.
The vaccination was administered as part of the kingdom’s Covid-19 plan, state news agency SPA reported.
Vaccination stations are reported to have been set up throughout the country, and about 50,000 people registered to be inoculated after Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah urged Saudis and residents to sign up for treatment, reported the Middle East Eyes news portal.
“Over the last nine months, I anxiously watched the number of registered cases. But today, I’ll be happily watching the number of those who are vaccinated,” Rabiah said last week.
Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry said in November that it hoped to have enough vaccine to inoculate 70 percent of the population by the end of 2021.
Riyadh has reported 361,903 cases of the coronavirus, including 178 detected in the last 24 hours, the ministry said on Friday.
It also reported nine deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 6,168.
Bin Salman, also known as MBS, is one of several world leaders to have received their first dose of the vaccine. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was vaccinated on live television last week, as was US Vice President Mike Pence.
Saudi Arabia closed its land and sea borders last week after a new strain of Covid-19, named VUI-202012/01, appeared in the United Kingdom was deemed highly infectious.