Bahrain approves registration for Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine

Bahrain approves registration for Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine

Bahrain approves registration for Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine

Bahrain’s National Health Regulatory Authority said on Sunday it had approved the registration of a coronavirus vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).

The statement did not specify which vaccine among the two being developed by Sinopharm, but cited data from Phase III clinical trials that showed an 86% efficacy rate and said Bahrain had participated in those trials.

The data cited was the same as what was announced earlier this month by the United Arab Emirates from interim analysis of late-stage clinical trials for an inactivated vaccine developed by Beijing Institute of Biological Product, a unit of Sinopharms’ China National Biotec Group (CNBG). 

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In July the UAE started Phase III clinical trials for the vaccine and the trial was expanded to Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt. Neither CNBG nor Sinopharm was available for comment.

The Bahrain statement said the kingdom had participated in Phase III trials of the approved vaccine and had previously authorised it for emergency use to frontline professionals.

It did not clarify whether approving it for registration meant that it would now be available to the general public.

Bahrain, which earlier this month granted emergency use authorisation for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, had said on Dec. 10 that it would provide COVID-19 vaccine for free for all citizens and residents. 

In fellow Gulf Arab state Kuwait, the Ministry of Health on Sunday granted emergency use authorisation for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, state news agency KUNA said.

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