Health Ministry: Regardless of nationality, vaccines free for all children in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: An official refuted rumors that the Health Ministry would impose charges on expats for their children’s vaccinations at state medical centers.

Speaking to Arab News, the spokesman for the Jeddah General Directorate of Health Affairs, Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, confirmed that the necessary vaccines are given to all expats and Saudis, alike, for free.

“All children on Saudi soil are equal in this regard. We offer children the vaccines that can protect them against particular diseases, regardless of their nationalities,” he said.

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A report by the General Authority for Statistics has disclosed that there were more than 560,000 non-Saudi children in the 0-4 age group living in the Kingdom in the first half of 2017.

A front-line staff member at a private medical center told Arab News that a child’s package of vaccinations could cost their parents up to SR4,000 ($1,067) until they enter school at the age six.

Statistically, if all expats are assumed to take their children to government medical facilities to get their periodic vaccines, it can be deduced that Saudi Arabia has spent more than SR2.24 billion in a period over 1,460 days to immunize foreign workers’ children against certain communicable diseases.

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Source Credit: Arab News

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