Kuwait City: After leading drug-maker Pfizer and biotechnology firm BioNTech announced on Monday that the COVID-19 vaccine they are working has proven to be more than 90 per cent effective, Kuwait’s Ministry of Health stated that it has ordered around one million doses, local media reported.
A source told Al Rai the vaccines are expected to arrive in Kuwait in batches, with around 150,000 arriving in the first batch when approved.
Another source told Al Qabas the decision to import the vaccine will depend on Pfizer obtaining official approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to the New York Times, Pfizer is planning on asking the FDA for emergency approval later this month.
The first batch of vaccines will be reserved for the elderly, individuals with chronic diseases and frontline workers, the source added.
Once Pfizer produces more vaccines, Kuwait is aiming to order four million doses, which will be allocated for both citizens and residents.
Pfizer and BioNTech are two of the many companies working around the clock to find a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic that has so far taken around one million lives worldwide.
In its phase 3 of its trial period, the vaccine has been administered to around 44,000 volunteers to determine its effectiveness. Half of the participants received the vaccines, while the other half were given a placebo of salt water.
To date, out of the 44,000 participants 94 people contracted the COVID-19 virus. Since the doctors nor the participants knew who was administered the vaccine or placebo, an independent board studied the trail and provided an initial analysis that suggested that the vaccine is over 90 per cent effective, the New York Times reported.
If approved by the FDA, the companies are planning on producing around 50 million doses by the end of the year, which will be accessible to 25 million people, as it is a two dose vaccine.
By 2021, the companies hope to roll out up to 1.3 billion doses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the results are positive yet the $4.5 billion funding gap could possibly slow access to tests, medicines and the vaccine in low and middle income countries, Reuters reported.
Following Monday’s announcement, Pfizer’s stock went up more than 8 per cent and BioNTech’s stock hit an all time high.