Bahrain has approved a Covid-19 vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and launched online registration for citizens and residents to receive it.
A statement by the National Health Regulatory Authority on Sunday did not specify which vaccine of two being developed by Sinopharm had been given approval, but cited data from Phase 3 clinical trials that showed an 86% efficacy rate and said Bahrain had participated.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Health said in a statement that citizens and residents above 18 years of age could register to receive the vaccine for free.
The data cited was the same as announced earlier this month by the United Arab Emirates from an interim analysis of late-stage clinical trials for an inactivated vaccine developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Product, a unit of Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG).
In July, the UAE started Phase 3 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 3 trials of the approved vaccine and had previously authorized it for emergency use to frontline professionals.
Bahrain earlier this month granted emergency use authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
In fellow Gulf Arab state Kuwait, the Health Ministry on Sunday granted emergency use authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, state news agency KUNA said.
It came after Peru suspended trials for a Sinopharm vaccine due to a “serious adverse event” that occurred with one of the volunteers for the study, the Peruvian government said in a statement on Saturday.
The Health Ministry said the event is “under investigation to determine if it is related to the vaccine or if there is another explanation.”
Sinopharm, which is conducting trials in Peru with about 12,000 volunteers, was about to complete the first stage of trials.
“The decision to temporarily suspend clinical trials is a safety measure contemplated in the regulations for clinical trials and protocols established to protect the health of research subjects,” the Health Ministry said in the statement.
German Malaga, chief researcher at the local Cayetano Heredia University, which is involved with the study, said one volunteer had experienced decreased strength in his legs, among other symptoms.