The island kingdom of Bahrain said it has become the second nation in the world to grant an emergency-use authorization for the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech.
The Ministers of Finance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the State of Kuwait…1202 | the publication reaches you by | Bahrain News
“The confirmation of approval by the National Health Regulatory Authority of the kingdom of Bahrain followed thorough analysis and review undertaken by the authority of all available data,” the kingdom said.
Bahrain did not say how may vaccines it has purchased, nor when vaccinations would begin. It did not respond to questions from the Associated Press.
Pfizer later told the AP that the details of its sales agreement with Bahrain, including the “timing of delivery and the volume of doses,” was confidential and declined to comment.
“We have developed detailed logistical plans and tools to support effective vaccine transport, storage and continuous temperature monitoring,” Pfizer said. “Our distribution is built on a flexible just in time system which will ship the frozen vials to the point of vaccination.”
The immediate challenge for Bahrain would be the conditions in which the vaccine must be kept. It must be stored and shipped at ultracold temperatures of around minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit).
Bahrain is a Mideast nation that regularly sees temperatures in the summer of around 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) with high humidity.
Bahrain operates a state-owned carrier, Gulf Air, that could be used to transport the vaccine. In the nearby United Arab Emirates, the Dubai-based long-haul carrier Emirates has already said it is preparing its facilities to distribute vaccines at ultracold temperatures.
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