Bahrain becomes first Muslim country to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

05:30 PM | 5 Dec, 2020
Bahrain becomes first Muslim country to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

MANAMA – Bahrain has become second nation in the world and first in the Muslim states to approve the emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech.

The United Kingdom became the first country in the world on Wednesday.

The Bahraini national news agency BNA said that it is country’s second approval of a Covid-19 vaccine EUA, following the Kingdom’s approval in November of the China’s Sinopharm vaccine for use by frontline workers.

“Bahrain has approved the of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that will be used for high-risk groups,” Bahrain’s National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) said.

The Kingdom has not shared any details about how many doses it has purchase and when the vaccination drive will be launched in the country.

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The immediate challenge for the Muslim state will be arranging conditions in which the vaccine can be stored. According to developers, the vaccine must be shipped and stored at ultra-cold temperatures of approximately minus 70 degrees Celsius.

 “The approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will add a further important layer to the Kingdom’s national COVID-19 response,” Mariam al-Jalahma, the chief executive of NHRA told BNA.

With a population of 1.6 million, the kingdom reported more than 87,000 cases and 341 deaths, said official data.

More than 85,000 people have recovered from the infection.