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Bahrain 2nd nation to grant Pfizer shot emergency use

Jon Gambrell
Associated Press

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — The island kingdom of Bahrain said Friday it has become the second nation in the world to grant an emergency-use authorization for the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

The state-run Bahrain News Agency made the announcement on Friday night, following an earlier announcement by the United Kingdom on Wednesday, making Britain the first in the world.

“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 on its state-run Bahrain News Agency.

In this Dec. 4, 2020 file photo, a general view of the Pfizer Manufacturing plant in Puurs, Belgium.

Bahrain did not say how may vaccines it has purchased, nor when vaccinations would begin. It did not immediately 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. They must be stored and shipped at ultra-cold temperatures of around minus 94 degrees. Bahrain is a Mideast nation that regularly sees temperatures in the summer of around 104 degrees with high humidity.