Envoys hail Saudi Arabia’s ‘vaccine for all’ rollout

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Foreign residents living and working in Saudi Arabia have welcomed a unique opportunity to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, with more than 300,000 inoculated so far.
The Ministry of Health’s Sehhaty app began accepting registrations for vaccination from Dec. 16 to ensure access to the treatment for all residents in the Kingdom.
Inoculations began the next day in the Saudi capital, with three vaccine centers opening across four regions less than a month later.
After receiving their first vaccine dose, a number of ambassadors to foreign missions  hailed the country’s efforts in providing treatment for all.

John Abizaid
US ambassador

Speaking to news media after being vaccinated, Abizaid said: “The organization here is terrific. The professionalism is outstanding. We were probably the first people in the embassy to get the vaccine. I wanted to show the American community here in Saudi Arabia and all 80,000 that it is safe, that it is effective. We want to thank you for this opportunity to see Saudi healthcare workers in action and we really feel good about being in your country. If there was a place to be during the pandemic, it has been Saudi Arabia.”

Jorg Ranau
Germany’s ambassador

After receiving his second dose of the vaccine, the envoy said that he was proud to have a vaccine developed in his home country and provided for Saudis and foreigners in the Kingdom.
“I encourage everyone to get the vaccine because it is the only safe way to achieve herd immunity that will enable everyone to return to normal life. I encourage all German citizens in the Kingdom to register for the vaccine through the Sehhaty app.”
Andreas Schaller
Swiss envoy

“Like many of my team members, I just got the COVID-19 vaccine and was impressed by the ease of making the appointment by app and the exemplary organization. Thank you to all responsible, competent health staff for caring so well for the people, Saudis and international guests like me.”

Jo Byung Wook
South Korean envoy

“Today I heard that the Saudi authorities have approved two more vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Moderna for use in the Kingdom, in addition to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that is already being used in this country. I expect that this will further enhance the Kingdom’s vaccination capability to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I received my first dose of the vaccine only three days after applying. I was impressed by the efficiency of the vaccination process and the professionalism of the healthcare practitioners. I highly encourage my fellow Korean residents to receive the vaccine.”

Balazs Selmeci
Hungarian ambassador

The Hungarian envoy thanked the Saudi government and the Health Ministry after both he and his family were inoculated.
“We have to say thanks to the Saudi government and the MOH for giving all of the residents here in Saudi Arabia the vaccination free of charge. I think that the authorities were well prepared for the arrival of the vaccine and also tried to prepare the staff. It’s clear that KSA has a detailed plan for the vaccination, which is working.
“The organization of the vaccination is perfect and I hope that more and more people will register here as the Saudi authorities are doing everything to grant the vaccine to everybody.”

Alvaro Iranzo Gutierrez
Ambassador of Spain

“I am very happy to say that the management by the Saudi authorities, the health authorities, the government and also the people of Saudi Arabia has been excellent since the pandemic started. All the measures taken we had to bear with patience, but it was for the good of everybody.
“As a Spanish citizen who lives happily in Saudi Arabia, I’m particularly grateful for the way it has been handled in an exemplary manner, and now we are in another phase thanks to the progress of the scientific community. We now have a vaccine, which ideally is going to allow normalcy to return in a few months’ time when most of the population will have taken it.
“I am also grateful because I had the opportunity to be vaccinated today. It was a swift procedure, efficient, done through the Sehhaty app, and I encourage everybody to go and take it. It doesn’t hurt at all will provide the immunity we are seeking.”

Dya-Eddine Said Bamakhrama
Djibouti envoy

The ambassador took to Twitter to thank the leadership for facilitating the vaccine for all. “The organization, reception and performance were organized and appropriate as was with the first dose. We reiterate our thanks and appreciation to the leadership of the Kingdom and to the Ministry of Health, which dealt well with the coronavirus pandemic.”


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