The Saudi Health Ministry said Tuesday that the Kingdom registered 2,108 active coronavirus cases, 338 of which are in critical condition.
This came as citizens and residents in Saudi Arabia who received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine continue to line up for their booster shots. At the moment, the health ministry is looking for temporary alternatives in the event of a delay in the delivery of the additional doses ordered from the Pfizer vaccine.
The Serum Institute of India (SII) will supply Saudi Arabia with 3 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses priced at $5.25 each in about a week on behalf of the British drugmaker.
“We continue to support AstraZeneca wherever they need the support. We are happy to do so,” SII Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla told Reuters in an interview.
He said the doses destined for Saudi Arabia would be shipped in a week or 10 days.
Poonawalla said that SII would raise production of the AstraZeneca vaccine by 30% by the end of March from its current daily output of about 2.4 million doses, once the third and final facility making the shots comes online.
Spokesman of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) Tayseer Al-Moufarrej confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that an official announcement will be made as soon as a deal is inked with any of the vaccine producers.
It is noteworthy that Saudi Arabia on Tuesday reported 223 new coronavirus cases and four deaths, bringing the total number of cases to 366,807 and raising the death toll to 6,359.
The health ministry also reported that the number of recoveries in the kingdom rose by 203 to 358,340.
Riyadh, the capital, recorded 78 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, while the Eastern Province had 45 cases, and Mecca had 34.
The health ministry said that coronavirus vaccination centers across the country are witnessing a “great turnout from all members of society of all groups,” facilitating the process of obtaining the vaccine.
There are COVID-19 vaccination centers across Saudi Arabia, including in Riyadh, the capital, Jeddah, Medina, and the Eastern Province.