After UK, Bahrain approves Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine

WION Web Team
Dubai, United Arab Emirates Published: Dec 04, 2020, 09:59 PM(IST)

Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Other than Pfizer Inc`s COVID-19 vaccine, Bahrain had also approved Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine in November for use by frontline workers

Bahrain said on Friday it has granted emergency use authorisation for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the second country after Britain to approve it.

Dr. Mariam Al Jalahma, the Gulf State's CEO of National Health Regulatory Authority said in a statement "The approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will add a further important layer to the Kingdom's national COVID-19 response." 

Other than Pfizer Inc`s COVID-19 vaccine, Bahrain had also approved Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine in November for use by frontline workers.

There will be an enormous logistical challenge to transport billions of doses at the right temperature across the globe, maintaining the so-called "cold chain" from a vaccine manufacturer into a patient's arm.

Pfizer/BioNTech's vaccine for instance, must be stored at a frigid minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit).  

Also read: Pfizer CEO 'not certain' if coronavirus vaccine will prevent transmission

Britain approved Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, jumping ahead of the rest of the world in the race to begin the most crucial mass inoculation programme in history.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson touted the green light from Britain's medicine authority as a global win and a ray of hope for the end of the pandemic, though he recognised the logistical challenges of vaccinating an entire country of 67 million.

Britain's move raised hopes that the tide could soon turn against a virus that has killed nearly 1.5 million people globally, hammered the world economy and upended normal life for billions since it emerged in Wuhan, China, a year ago.

Britain's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted emergency use approval to the vaccine developed by Pfizer and German biotechnology partner BioNTech, which they say is 95% effective in preventing illness, just 23 days after Pfizer published the first data from its final stage clinical trial.

Last month Britain said it expected 10 million doses of the shot in 2020, but the government has said the pace of roll-out will be dependence on delivery. It has ordered 40 million doses in all, enough to vaccinate 20 million people.

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