Saudi MoH declares priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination

Saudi MoH declares priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination

The Ministry of Health announced that priority will be to those who have a greater chance of exposure to coronavirus as it gears up to launch the coronavirus vaccination campaign in the Kingdom in the near future.

In the guidelines released by the ministry as part of an awareness campaign before the launch of the vaccination drive, the ministry has identified the target groups for the vaccination, which are the following:

1. The security and military sectors and those of similar status; health practitioners, including emergency services in critical areas; the elderly over the age of 60; people with obesity (body mass index or BMI higher than 40); immunocompromised (such as those who have undergone organ transplantation and are using immunosuppressive drugs); and those having two or more chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and chronic heart disease.

2. The rest of health practitioners suffering from chronic diseases, obesity (BMI 31 to 40), and sickle cell anemia.

3. All those who can take vaccination.

Minor and temporary side effects

The vaccine is safe due to its effective passage through testing phases; evoking a strong immune response and producing antibodies continuously; the ministry said while noting that the side effects of the vaccine are usually minor and temporary, such as post-injection site inflammation, a mild high temperature or headache.

The ministry emphasized that any licensed vaccine will strictly undergo test, undergoing multiple stages of testing before approving it for use, and regularly re-evaluating it. Scientists would also constantly monitor information from multiple sources for any sign of the vaccine posing health risks.

The ministry explained that the person who received the vaccine will receive proper awareness about the most common side effects expected to occur after taking the vaccine, which are fatigue, headache, pain at the injection site, muscle pain, feeling malaise, high temperature, and body tremors.

The symptoms, like headaches, muscle pain, high temperature, and fatigue can be relieved by taking paracetamol. While redness and swelling at the injection site can be treated by putting cold compresses as it will reduce pain. If people monitor some other side effects, causing concerns, they must consult a health care provider.

Directions

The ministry also said that those who receive the first shots of the vaccine shall have an idea about ways to register side effects when they occur; methods of communication and follow-up; as well as the date of the second dose. They will get directions to monitor the occurrence of side effects well. Besides, recording them as soon as they appear during a period of seven days after receiving the vaccine.

The ministry also underlined the need to adopt a healthy lifestyle, such as eating healthy food; drinking enough fluids, the most important of which is water; sleeping for enough hours, as well as to avoid anxiety and stress to enhance immunity. It also urged to ensure receiving the second dose of the vaccine, if any at the scheduled time. In addition to do follow-up appointments to assess and check the body’s immune response after finishing the vaccine doses.

Women, who receive vaccines, should take effective contraception continuously. Besides, refraining from donating blood during the period of vaccination, the ministry added.