Saudi crown prince sparks rush for vaccine as registrations jump fivefold

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman receives his first dose of a coronavirus vaccine on Dec. 25, 2020. (SPA)
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Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal receives his first dose of a coronavirus vaccine on Saturday. (SPA)
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Updated 27 December 2020

Saudi crown prince sparks rush for vaccine as registrations jump fivefold

  • Numbers seeking vaccination increased fivefold in a single hour: Al-Rabiah
  • Prince Khalid Al-Faisal received his first COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Jeddah on Saturday

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman appears to have sparked a surge in the number of people registering for the coronavirus vaccine after receiving the inoculation on Friday.
About 500,000 people had registered for the vaccine by last Thursday following the Ministry of Health’s rollout of a national inoculation plan.
But after the crown prince was photographed one day later receiving the vaccine, the numbers seeking vaccination jumped fivefold in a single hour, according to Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.
The vaccination rate is also believed to have surged with up to 10,000 already inoculated.

Meanwhile, the number of active coronavirus cases in the Kingdom continues to fall, with the Kingdom yet to record a single case of the COVID-19 variant.
However, Dr. Abdullah Asiri, assistant deputy minister for preventive medicine, urged caution, warning that the virus remains a real threat.
“What we know for sure is that these mutations won’t change the behavior of the virus or its ability to infect people, resulting in severe symptoms,” he said.
Asiri said that the mutation did not appear to cause more harm than other strains of the coronavirus.
“Without mutations, coronaviruses rarely infect people twice since the antibodies created by the human body are able to prevent a second infection for up to four or five months,” he said.


362,066 Total cases

In Jeddah, health workers have begun receiving coronavirus vaccinations at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport South Terminal inoculation centers as the first phase of the program focuses on front-line staff.
Daily cases in the Kingdom are holding steady below the 200 mark, with 163 new cases reported on Saturday, raising the number to 362,066 since the beginning of the pandemic.
There are currently 2,886 active cases, 383 of which are in critical care.
A total of 189 new recoveries were also reported, raising the number to 353,004. The Kingdom’s recovery rate is at 97.49 percent.
Eight people died due to complications caused by COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of deaths to 6,176.

Crown prince announces new 5-year strategy for kingdom’s economy

Updated 25 January 2021

Crown prince announces new 5-year strategy for kingdom’s economy

  • Crown prince pledges 1.8m new jobs
  • PIF to invest $40bn a year until 2025

JEDDAH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday launched a new five-year strategy for the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund as Saudi Arabia drives toward achieving its Vision 2030 goal to diversify the economy away from dependence on oil.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) will pump at least $40 billion a year into the local economy, double its assets to $1.07 trillion, contribute U$320 billion to non-oil GDP and create 1.8 million jobs by 2025, said the crown prince, the fund’s chairman.

“We’ve launched many vital sectors and investment projects in Saudi Arabia and the private sector is a strategic partner for the PIF,” he said.

“The new strategy comes to represent a major pillar in achieving the aspirations of our country and aims to achieve the concept of comprehensive development.”

The 2021-2025 strategy will focus on launching new sectors, empowering the private sector, developing the PIF’s portfolio, achieving effective long-term investments, supporting the localization of sectors and building strategic economic partnerships.

“Our goal is to make our country a pioneer for the new human civilization,” the crown prince said. The PIF would “contribute to supporting development and economic diversification efforts in the Kingdom, in addition to consolidating its position as the preferred global investment partner.”

PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan said: “Over the past four years, PIF has demonstrated its important role in contributing to the Kingdom’s economy, in line with the ambitions of Vision 2030. Up to the end of 2020, we tripled assets under management to nearly $400 billion, created 10 new sectors and generated 331,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“And as part of our strategy, we will continue to drive the economic transformation of Saudi Arabia and enable the private sector. We also partner with innovative, transformative and disruptive companies around the world to consistently serve as an important catalyst for the development of the industries and opportunities of the future.

“Core to our strategy is our focus on funding new human futures by improving quality of life, driving environmental and economic sustainability, and developing new sectors and jobs.”

Meanwhile Fahad Al-Mubarak was appointed governor of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) on Sunday, replacing  Ahmed Al-Kholifey, who becomes an adviser at the royal court.