Saudi Arabia has approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for young adults between the ages of 12 and 17, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Sunday.
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The approval to authorize the vaccine for the age group came after the vaccine company submitted a request to the Kingdom’s Food and Drug Authority, according to SPA.
The company provided data that proved that the vaccine had met the special regulatory requirements, which included clinical studies and reports that showed its efficacy and safety, the SPA statement said.
The studies conducted showed that the benefits of the vaccine for the specified age group far outweigh the potential risks, the statement added.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Education on Saturday announced in a statement that all students who are not fully vaccinated will be banned from entering schools.
They will be marked absent until they receive two doses of an approved vaccine, he said.
The vaccine requirement comes as part of efforts by health officials to facilitate the safe return of students and staff members when the new school term begins on August 29.
The Kingdom first approved the Moderna vaccine for people aged 17 and above on July 9. It has also approved Pfizer-BioNtech and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.