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Bahrain launches clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccine
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 10 - 08 - 2020

MANAMA — Bahrain has launched a phase 3 clinical trial for a coronavirus inactivated vaccine which will be tested on 6,000 citizen and expatriate volunteers across the Kingdom, Bahrain News Agency reported on Monday.
The trial will be conducted in collaboration with G42 Healthcare, an artificial intelligence company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dr. Mariam Al Hajri, the assistant undersecretary at the country's Ministry of Health said.
Dr. Al Hajri highlighted that the potential vaccine, enlisted by the World Health Organization, will be tested on volunteers who meet the required medical criteria and that the clinical trials are to be conducted by Abu-Dhabi based G42 Healthcare using a vaccine developed by Sinopharm CNBG the world's sixth-largest producer of vaccines in the world.
Dr. Al Hajri further highlighted that the phase III clinical trials, which will be conducted over 12 months, has been approved by the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) following the success of its phase I and phase II clinical trials across China. Dr. Al Hajri noted that the phase III clinical trials will be open to volunteers above the age of 18, who do not suffer from chronic or underlying conditions.
Dr. Al Hajri outlined that the clinical trials are divided into three phases, the first phase ensures the efficiency of the vaccine. In phase two, the clinical study is expanded to ensure an immune response is triggered, and the vaccine is administered to individuals with certain characteristics (such as age and physical health) similar to those for whom the new vaccine will be developed.
G42 Healthcare CEO Ashish Koshy added: "It was always part of our original plan to open several centers to ensure the broadest impact and opportunity for individuals to participate and join the 4Humanity campaign. There has been a hugely enthusiastic response from the Ministry of Health and other public health bodies in Bahrain to work with us on the trials and to encourage their communities to volunteer in the trials.
"The expansion will also help to boost the overall numbers of people participating in the test to enable similar numbers to other international trials underway in nations with much larger populations. "
The proposed inactivated vaccine has succeeded in passing the first and second phases without causing any harmful side-effects, as 100 percent of the volunteers in China generated antibodies two days after receiving the dosage.
The phase III clinical trial, carried out by the Kingdom of Bahrain, follows the UAE's similar trial, which began at the end of July 2020 and has already seen nearly 10,000 vaccinated volunteers from 100 countries participating.


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