Bahrain approves use of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine; Kuwait gives nod for emergency use of Pfizer vaccine
Bahrain said over 7,700 signed up to take part in a trial of the Sinopharm vaccine in the Kingdom, but offered few details on the results of the study
Dubai: Bahrain said Sunday it approved the use of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine, following its earlier approval of a vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.
Separately, Kuwait has granted emergency use for the Pfizer vaccine.
Bahrain's state-run news agency said the Sinopharm vaccine would be available in the island kingdom off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf.
It offered few details though on study results of the vaccine, in line with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which last week announced the vaccine was 86 percent effective. The Emirati statement provided few details but marked the first public release of information on the efficacy of the shot.
Bahrain said over 7,700 signed up to take part in a trial of the Sinopharm vaccine in the kingdom. The Kingdom earlier said it plans to give the public free coronavirus vaccines, but has yet to answer any questions about its program.
The Sinopharm vaccine has been approved for emergency use in a few countries and the company is still conducting late-stage clinical trials in 10 countries. Morocco is gearing up for an ambitious COVID-19 vaccination program, aiming to vaccinate 80 percent of its adults in an operation starting this month that's relying initially on the Sinopharm vaccine.
Sinopharm's shot relies on a tested technology, using a killed virus to deliver the vaccine, similar to how polio immunizations are made. Leading Western competitors, like the shot made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, use newer, less-proven technology to target the coronavirus' spike protein using RNA. The United Kingdom already has begun vaccinating people with the Pfizer shot and the US appears poised to shortly follow.
Already, Pfizer reports its shot as being 95 percent effective, while another RNA candidate from Moderna appears to be 94.5 percent effective. Results suggest a third vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca is safe and about 70 percent effective, but questions remain about how well it may help protect those over 55.
On Sunday, Kuwait's state-run KUNA news agency announced the oil-rich country's health ministry had granted emergency use for the Pfizer vaccine. Already, the ministry had offered citizens the option to pre-register to receive the vaccine on its website.
Such reports are highly ill-informed, misleading and far from the truth, it said in a statement.
India on Monday started administering the 'precautionary' vaccine jab as the country witnesses an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases infections, driven by the Omicron variant
India begins new vaccine phase in COVID-19 fight, ‘precautionary doses’ for frontline workers and seniors from today: All you need to know
An estimated 1.05 crore healthcare and 1.9 crore frontline workers, and 2.75 crore co-morbid people in the 60-plus age group would be administered the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine