SFDA is responsible for licensing vaccine: MoH

January 24, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Dr. Muhammad Al-Abdel Ali, spokesman of the Ministry of Health, said that the ministry is not the authority that grants licensing and approval for coronavirus vaccines.

“Rather, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) is the licensing authority. SFDA is a specialized authority for food and drug, as its role is distinguished, and it has a scientific and professional role and a very prestigious and reliable position in playing this role,” he said while attending the daily press briefing session on coronavirus related developments.

Dr. Al-Abdel Ali said SFDA receives requests for registration of vaccines, and implements the necessary procedures to grant approvals.

“When it has granted any approvals for any additional types of vaccines, we are confident that it will be safe and effective, and this will be announced on a priority basis.

“Similar to what happened previously in the case of approval for Pfizer vaccine, any developments about vaccines will be announced through SFDA,” he said.

The ministry spokesman noted that more coronavirus cases were reported and monitored during the past two weeks, but they are still within the limits of control, which requires enhanced vigilance and caution in our commitment and adherence to the precautionary measures.

“The curve of confirmed cases of infection is still at low levels, but it has detected a 29 percent increase during the last week as compared to the previous week.

“We do not want this curve to continue to escalate and for this strict compliance to the precautionary measures is necessary,” he said, adding that a total of 391,643 people have so far been vaccinated against coronavirus.

For his part, Ministry of Interior Spokesman Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub attributed the rise in cases of coronavirus to the laxity on the part of some people in adhering to precautionary measures and preventive protocols and violating the rules to limit social gatherings during the mid-year vacation.

He said that a total of 84,807 violations of the precautionary measures and preventive protocols were recorded during the period from Dec. 16 to Jan. 13. Riyadh region topped with 24,479 violations, and it was followed by the Makkah region with 14,731 violations, Qassim region with 9,673 violations, while Najran and Jazan regions were the lowest in the number of violations, reaching 880 and 653 violations respectively.

January 24, 2021
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