Bahraini Crown Prince participates in Phase 3 clinical trial for Covid-19 vaccine

Sheikh Salman bin Hamad joins 6,000 other volunteers in the trial

Bahrain Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad is participating in the country’s Phase 3 clinical trial for a potential Covid-19 vaccine.

In an image circulated on Twitter, Sheikh Salman was pictured wearing a face mask that read “we race as one,” while receiving an injection from a medical professional.

Bahrain began its Phase 3 clinical trials for the Sinopharm vaccine developed by China about three weeks ago. The Health Ministry said at least 6,000 volunteers are involved in the trial being conducted at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Covid-19 in the Middle East 

The ministry said 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 inactivated Sinopharm vaccine being tested in Bahrain is the one that was recently granted emergency approval for use among UAE frontline health workers.

UAE Health Minister, Abdulrahman Al Owais, said the under-trial vaccine could be used in "cases of emergency" after extensive tests involving 31,000 volunteers had shown the vaccine to be safe.

Bahrain reported 678 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, with 627 additional recoveries. The country's caseload stands at 61,643 with 54,831 recoveries and 213 deaths.

On Tuesday, Bahrain announced the reopening of the King Fahd causeway for all travellers, but they will be required to take a coronavirus test before entering the country.

Covid-19 test stations were set up along the causeway for travellers to take a virus test, priced at 60 Bhd (Dh584), on their way into the country. They will be expected to download the "BeAware Bahrain" app and self-isolate until a negative test result is returned.

Travellers also have the option of taking a Covid-19 test 72 hours before departure and presenting a negative test at the border.