We keep on getting some updates about vaccines, but it’s confusing to the point that now we’re just waiting until governments announce it officially. It’s been a while since we’ve heard of something positive regarding the COVID-19, but the world’s medical professionals and pharmaceutical companies are working hard on the vaccine to help us combat this pandemic and return to normality. Here are the latest Middle East vaccine updates from around the region.
Saudi Arabia is the first Middle Eastern country to get the first batch of the coronavirus vaccine and are now administrating and testing it on 150,000 individuals who registered for the trial via an application called Sehhety (My Health) for free. We’ll leave you here on a positive note; according to the Ministry of Health the vaccine showed a strong response in those who already tried it.
Egyptians will be provided with the free Chinese Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine. Health Minister Hala Zayed said that the first batch containing 50,000 doses had arrived and will be available to citizens free of charge. The batch was provided as a gift from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). All elderly will need to register in order to take the vaccine and as for the country’s medical staff working in chest, fever and isolation hospitals, as well as patients with kidney and heart diseases will receive priority access to the vaccine.
86% what? The United Arab Emirates is the first country to rate the Chinese vaccine batch for COVID-19. At first neither the UAE nor the Chinese Sinopharm had announced updates or feedback on their trial of the 31,000 individuals. However, people from 125 different nationalities took part and 99% of the people who took part in the trial produced antibodies that attack the virus. Abu Dhabi has meanwhile announced that “all economic, tourism, cultural and entertainment activities in the emirate” will fully resume in two weeks due to the success of measures introduced to lower infection rates. According to CNN, nearly 100,000 people across the UAE have received the vaccine as part of a voluntary program, with 31,000 others receiving it as part of clinical trials.
Jordan had announced the approval of the Pfizer -BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. Jordanian Health Minister stated last month that it would be tested and distributed free of charge to foreign residents as well as Jordanians. According to the senior health official Wael Hayajneh, the vaccine is planned to be distributed to 20% of the population in 11 stages. None of the trials will be done without the approval of the Jordan Food and Drug Administration. Regarding elderly people and medical personnel, they will have to register online in order to take the vaccine.
After the huge explosion in Beirut, the country as a whole has been and still is struggling financially, in addition to many hospitals being destroyed. According to Reuters, the government is expected to sign a deal with Pfizer suppliers by paying only part of the full amount. Lebanon also signed up with COVAX, a global scheme backed by WHO in order to provide vaccines to poorer countries. Due to the refugee population, health Minister Hamad Hassan urged the UN and non-governmental agencies to help secure more vaccines for them.