All unvaccinated students over the age of 12 in Saudi Arabia will not be allowed to attend school until they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, the Ministry of Education announced on Saturday.
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Anyone who has not received a COVID-19 vaccine will be considered absent until they receive two doses, Minister of Education Dr. Hamad al-Sheikh said in a statement.
He also stressed the importance of implementing precautionary measures in schools to facilitate the return to in-person education and ensure that all students and staff members are safe throughout the semester.
The education ministry, in coordination with the Ministry of Health, announced at the start of the month that all students and school staff members must be fully vaccinated before the school year starts.
The new school term is set to begin on August 29, and health authorities want to ensure that all students and staff members are protected against the coronavirus.
“The Ministry of Health will provide vaccines, make appointments available for students targeted for the immunization process, in addition to teachers, faculty members and administrators from the education staff, and provide all possibilities necessary to complete the vaccination operations before the beginning of the academic year,” the two ministries said in a joint statement on August 1.
Designated teams will conduct visits to schools ahead of their reopening to ensure they are well-equipped and ready to welcome students and staff safely, al-Sheikh said in the statement.
More than 33 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Saudi Arabia so far, according to the Ministry of Health.