Bahrain approves Valneva's Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use

First shipments of the VLA2001 vaccine expected at the end of March

A Valneva biologist works on the company's inactivated whole virus Covid-19 vaccine in Austrian capital Vienna. Reuters

Bahrain granted emergency use authorisation to a Covid-19 vaccine developed by French biotech company Valneva on Tuesday.

Valneva expects to deliver the first shipments of its VLA2001 vaccine to the kingdom at the end of March, the company said.

Bahrain had signed a purchase deal for one million doses in December last year.

“As the only dual-adjuvanted, inactivated Covid-19 vaccine approved in Bahrain, VLA2001 will provide a differentiated vaccine option to the Bahraini population and medical community,” Valneva chief executive Thomas Lingelbach said.

“We are looking forward to addressing the evolution of the pandemic in the Middle East and starting to deliver our first vaccines in the region.”

An adjuvant is a vaccine ingredient that that helps create a stronger immune response. An inactivated vaccine consisting of virus particles grown and then killed to destroy disease-producing capacity.

Last month, Valneva said it expected to start shipments of its vaccine in Europe soon after it is recommended for conditional approval at the end of March.

The company said it had received a list of questions in an initial regulatory assessment.

The VLA2001 vaccine is currently the only whole virus, inactivated, adjuvanted Covid-19 vaccine in clinical development in Europe.

Earlier this year, Bahrain approved Pfizer’s Paxlovid anti-viral Covid-19 drug for emergency use. It has been hailed a “major breakthrough” in the country's fight against the pandemic.

Updated: March 01, 2022, 10:08 AM