The National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) of Bahrain approved Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, for emergency use, state news agency BNA reported on Monday. Covishield is manufactured at the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest vaccine manufacturer.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is the third to be approved by Bahrain for emergency use following SinoPharma and Pfizer-BioNTech. The Gulf state has directed the authorities to administer vaccines for people at the highest risks of developing complications from the coronavirus.
NHRA Chief Executive Officer Dr Mariam Adhbi Al-Jalahma informed that the vaccine was sanctioned after several procedures for monitoring its quality, safety and effectiveness. The vaccine is administered as two jabs; the second jab is administered 28 days after the first. According to BNA, AstraZeneca shows its effectiveness after the second dose reaches 70.42 per cent.
The Bahrain Health Ministry had earlier announced the rescheduling of the first doses of Pfizer vaccine administration as the pharmaceutical company's manufacturing unit expanded urgently. However, all appointments for the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will remain unaffected and go ahead as scheduled.