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Jordan approves China's Sinopharm COVID vaccine

Jordan said on Saturday it has approved China's Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, after previously giving the Pfizer-BioNTech jab the green light.

"Emergency use of the... Sinopharm vaccine against the novel coronavirus has been authorised," the head of the Jordanian Food and Drug administration, Nizar Mheidat, told state television.

"It is the second vaccine available for use in Jordan after the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine," which Jordan approved in December, he told Al-Mamlaka television.

China's Sinopharm says its vaccine has a 79 percent efficacy rate.

Health Minister Nazir Obeidat said late last month that the kingdom had ordered one million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

He also said that Jordan hoped to access 650,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine through the global Covax programme, and that the country had an agreement with US group Johnson & Johnson.

The start date for Jordan's vaccination campaign, which will initially target 20-25 percent of its 11 million population, is yet to be announced.

Health authorities expect doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to arrive in the country at the end of January or early February.

Health centres across the country will be involved in the roll-out.

The health minister said in November that vaccines would be distributed free of charge to Jordanians and foreign residents.

The Hashemite kingdom has officially registered more than 305,000 novel coronavirus cases and nearly 4,000 deaths.

Topics: Jordan , China , Sinopharm , coronavirus disease , vaccine , Pfizer-BioNTech
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