Covid-19: Kuwait approves emergency use of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

Kuwait - Authorisation was issued after conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the vaccine's safety, efficacy.

By Agencies

Published: Sat 30 Jan 2021, 11:35 AM

Last updated: Sat 30 Jan 2021, 11:38 AM

Kuwait has authorised the emergency use of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to protect people from the novel coronavirus.

The authorisation was issued after conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the vaccine's safety, efficacy and quality, Assistant Undersecretary for drug and food control Dr. Abdullah Al-Bader was quoted by KUNA as saying in a press statement on Friday.

Also read: Kuwait authorised emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech vax in December

Kuwait will receive the first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses within days, he added.

Al Bader said the ministry had succeeded in obtaining an initial batch of the British-produced vaccine, due to its keenness not to delay the national vaccination program.

He added that the first batch is expected to arrive in days.

Al Bader also said that the vaccine had obtained approval from the Gulf Cooperation Council’s health council, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer approved by the World Health Organization.

Al Bader said that the decision came after an extensive review of all scientific data and reports by a technical committee, which “conducted a comprehensive assessment of the safety, efficacy and quality of the vaccine, as well as reviewing results of clinical studies on the vaccine’s effectiveness and safety.”

He added that the committee also ensured that principles of good manufacturing were applied in factories that are producing the vaccines, according to international standards, to ensure quality in all stages of manufacturing.

Al Bader said that the ministry will closely monitor the safety of the vaccine after it had been distributed and would also continue to follow up on information and data related to the the vaccine, both locally and globally.

The EU’s medicines regulator, EMA, on Friday recommended the authorization of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for adults of all ages, saying it believed it would be safe for older people too.

“With the recommendation today, we are further expanding the range of Covid-19 vaccines available to EU states to bring the pandemic under control,” EMA chief Emer Cooke told a press conference at the agency’s Amsterdam headquarters.

The vaccine developed by the British-Swedish company and Oxford University had demonstrated a 60 per cent efficacy against COVID-19 across various clinical trials, the EMA said in a statement.

“Today’s (Friday) recommendation underscores the value of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine which is not only effective and well-tolerated, but also easy to administer,” said AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot in a statement.

(Reuters, AFP)

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