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Bahrain begins COVID-19 vaccine registration for citizens, residents
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 14 - 12 - 2020

MANAMA — Citizens and residents in Bahrain over the age of 18 can now register for receiving coronavirus vaccine free of cost, the kingdom's ministry of health announced late Sunday.
In a statement on its official Twitter handle, the ministry asked citizens and residents to register themselves on the website www.healthalert.gov.bh for the safety of themselves, their families, and the society at large.
The health ministry's call for the registration followed the approval of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine by Bahrain's National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) on Sunday.
Bahrain has participated in Phase III clinical trials of the Chinese vaccine, in which more than 7,700 volunteers signed up.
The regulatory authority had previously authorized the emergency use of Sinopharm's vaccine based on preliminary results, which was provided to frontline professionals in contact with COVID-19 patients.
The authority, however, has not specified which vaccine among the two being developed by Sinopharm, but has cited data from Phase III clinical trials that showed an 86 percent efficacy rate and said Bahrain had participated in those trials.
The data cited was the same as what was announced earlier this month by the United Arab Emirates from an interim analysis of late-stage clinical trials for an inactivated vaccine developed by Beijing Institute of Biological Product, a unit of Sinopharms' China National Biotec Group (CNBG).
Bahrain, which earlier this month granted emergency use authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, had said on Dec. 10 that it would provide the COVID-19 vaccine for free for all citizens and residents.
Last week, the government announced that vaccines will be distributed through 27 medical centers with each having a capacity of vaccinating 5,000 individuals per day. Later, the capacity will be expanded to reach 10,000 vaccinations per day.


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