Bahrain crown prince participates in trials for coronavirus vaccine
Bahrain media announced on Wednesday that Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad has participated in a round of clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine, on a day when the country's focus was fixed on its controversial peace deal with Israel, signed a deal earlier.
Sheikh Salman is engaged in Phase 3 of clinical trials for a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine, which is being tested in Bahrain, and joined 6,000 other volunteers at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
The kingdom's ministry of health shared a picture of the prince wearing a face mask with the phrase "we race as one" stamped on it.
In the photograph, Sheikh Salman is being administered with an injection.
The prince joined the third phase of testing for a vaccine that is being developed by Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm.
Phase III began at the end of August in Bahrain, after the company launched similar trials in the UAE.
The ministry said that the vaccine trials were part of "ongoing efforts to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic and limit its spread through stepping up all precautionary and preventive measures to protect the health and safety of everyone".
The human trial is a partnership between Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG) and Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company Group 42 (G42).
The study, which will take place over 12 months, uses an inactivated vaccine, the health ministry at the time said.
The inactivated vaccine which is being tested is the same one which UAE leaders authorised for emergency use by healthcare workers.
Egypt is following Bahrain's lead and earlier this week called for 6,000 volunteers to participate in similar trials for two Chinese-made vaccines.
In a statement published by the State Information System on Sunday, Health Minister Hala Zayed said the trials will be in the third phase.
The third phase will test the safety of the administered vaccine, its appropriate dosage, and whether it provides immunity, Zayed said.
Trials for two potential Covid-19 vaccines, made by a "leading" but unnamed Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturer, will be carried out in cooperation with the Chinese government and UAE technology G42 Company.
Bahrain’s Covid-19 cases stand at 61,643 with 54,831 recoveries and 213 deaths.