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Saudi Arabia approves Pfizer virus vaccine

Saudi Arabia says it has approved the registration of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German partner BioNTech for use in the country.

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority made the approval in response to a request from Pfizer, clearing the way for health agencies in the kingdom to import and use the vaccine, Saudi Arabia’s state news agency SPA reported.

The approval for the vaccine’s registration and use was based on safety and effectiveness data that Pfizer had provided, the agency added.

No specific dates have been given for the arrival of the vaccine and the start of its use in the country.

Saudi health authorities said last month that the COVID-19 vaccines would be made available to its citizens and foreign residents for free.

Earlier this month, Bahrain, another Gulf country, announced it had approved the emergency use of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The approval made Bahrain the second country in the world to grant an emergency use authorisation for the vaccine after the UK.

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