Bahrain approves AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID vaccine

The jab is the third granted emergency use in the Gulf country after China’s Sinopharm and Pfizer/BioNtech.

With a population of 1.6 million, the small Gulf state has reported about 100,000 cases and 367 deaths [File: Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters]

Bahrain has granted emergency approval for the use of a coronavirus vaccine produced by the UK’s AstraZeneca drug company in collaboration with Oxford University.

The National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) approved the vaccine on Monday, according to Bahrain’s state news agency.

Approval was based on a study carried out by NHRA in participation with the clinical research committee and the health ministry immunization committee, Bahrain News Agency reported.

With a population of 1.6 million, the small country has reported more than 99,800 cases and 367 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca shot is the third to be approved in the Gulf country. Bahrain has already given the green light for emergency use to a Chinese-made vaccine produced by Sinopharm, and it was the second nation worldwide to approve the Pfizer/BioNtech jab.

AstraZeneca, whose vaccine’s trials have shown to have a 70.4 percent efficacy rate, has come under increasing scrutiny since last week when it informed European Union’s officials it would cut deliveries by 60 percent in the first quarter of the year because of production problems.

Bahrain News Agency did not report the amount or timing of the vaccine’s delivery. The shot has to be given in two jabs, 28 days apart.

Source: Al Jazeera