RIYADH: Saudi Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh announced on Thursday that all universities, along with technical and vocational education and training schools, should prepare their staff and students to take the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine before the new academic year.
The ministry is working on a timeline for the inoculation process, with plans for the vaccine to become mandatory for all education industry workers over time.
Meanwhile, as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom continues to increase, the first Saudi to be vaccinated is urging others to follow his example.
Last December, Emad Al-Daihan became the first person in the country to receive the Pfizer vaccine. He was spurred into action after his family came down with the virus last year.
In a new video released by the Saudi Ministry of Health, Al-Daihan recalled the harrowing moment when his eldest son started to show symptoms of the virus, inadvertently infecting the rest of the household along with him.
“I saw the extent of the suffering he was experiencing, and that was the main reason that prompted me to sign up for the vaccine as soon as it was available,” he said. “It is our responsibility now to do whatever we can to help eradicate this virus once and for all.”
The ministry announced 902 new cases on Thursday, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 395,854.
Of Saudi Arabia’s 7,468 active cases, 874 are in critical condition as 22 had been added in the past 24 hours.
The number of new recoveries announced was 469, raising the recovery tally to 381,658. The ministry said nine more people died due to COVID-19, raising the national death toll to 6,728.
In terms of vaccination, the Kingdom has administered more than 5.7 million inoculations.
The total number of PCR tests conducted stands at 15.6 million with 71,946 administered over the past 24 hours.
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