Friday, February 26, 2021

Bahrain approves Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine for emergency use

The National Health Regulatory Authority has approved the emergency use of Covishield, the Covid-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneka in cooperation with the University of Oxford and manufactured at the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.

Bahrain joins the list of countries that have authorized the emergency use of the  vaccine for the groups at highest risks of developing complications from the coronavirus, including the elderly, people with chronic diseases, and other groups determined by the Ministry of Health.

The approval was based on the study carried out by the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) with the participation of NHRA’s Clinical Research Committee and the Ministry of Health’s Immunization Committee.

The study considered data from AstraZeneka about the results of studies on the vaccine conducted in several countries, immunity data and the manufacturing data provided by SII to prove the process complies with international standards.

The institute had obtained a license to manufacture the vaccine in India by the producing company AstraZeneka in cooperation with the University of Oxford.

NHRA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mariam Adhbi Al Jalahma said an in-depth study of all the data submitted by IIS, including the quality of manufacturing and the results of the immunity study had been conducted.

She pointed out that NHRA approved the emergency use in coordination with the manufacturer because it applies to many procedures for controlling the quality, safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

They include use within a range determined by the health authorities in Bahrain, deciding the numbers of target groups, the dose and the vaccination system, monitoring and reporting negative situations and providing information supporting safety, efficiency and manufacturing.

Al Jalahma said that the vaccine is given in two jabs 28 days apart and the study published by AstraZeneka showed that its effectiveness after the second dose reaches 70.42%.

The Oxford-AstraZeneka vaccine is the third to be approved by Bahrain for emergency use following SinoPharma and Pfizer and Biontech, which confirms the Kingdom’s commitment to the health and safety of all citizens and residents and to mitigating the spread of the virus.

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