The National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) of Bahrain has approved the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, state news agency BNA reported on Friday.
The Janssen Covid-19 vaccine is the fifth to be authorised in Bahrain after SinoPharma, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. It will be administered to people at the highest risks of developing complications from the coronavirus, such as the elderly, people with chronic diseases and other groups identified by the Health Ministry.
NHRA Chief Executive Officer Dr Mariam Adhbi Al-Jalahma said that the NHRA Clinical trials Committee and the Immunization Committee at the Ministry of Health have reviewed and analysed the manufacturer company's documents on the clinical trials of the vaccine and studies conducted in many countries.
The vaccine requires only a single shot and has been verified to provide great protection against serious infection with COVID-19, the ministry said in a statement.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had concluded earlier that the J&J vaccine effectively reduces both symptomatic and severe illness. It is expected to be authorised in the US after clinical trials found it prevented severe illness.
The gulf state has also announced an extension of a few preventive measures such as social distancing at commercial and industrial premises, workers' health screening and suspension of health service fees for foreigners for an additional three months, BNA reported.
Bahrain had recently launched a digital Covid-19 vaccine passport for its residents and nationals. Last month, the Sultanate had offered free vaccination to all residing in the country, given their choice of vaccines.