KUWAIT: The health ministry announced yesterday the arrival of the BNT162 COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this year, while usage will be subject to approval of local regulatory authorities. In a statement, Assistant Undersecretary for Medicines and Medical Supplies Dr Abdullah Al-Bader said an agreement was reached with Pfizer and BioNTech, which developed the vaccine, to supply the vaccine to Kuwait.

Based on the ministry's request, the vaccine will arrive by the end of 2020 and during 2021 after completion of clinical tests and necessary approvals from local regulatory authorities, Bader said, pointing out that the financial details of this agreement have not been disclosed. The ministry has taken all measures to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and store it at the ministry's facilities at a temperature of -70 degrees Celsius, he added. This agreement falls under the global commitment of Pfizer and BioNTech to confront the global COVID-19 crisis, Bader said.

Pfizer's Chief Business Officer in the Gulf region Lindsey Dietschi expressed pleasure to cooperate with the Kuwaiti government in order to achieve the common goal of providing the potential COVID-19 vaccine to the Kuwaiti people as soon as possible. She expressed hope the vaccine will save people's lives, stressing that this depends on the success of clinical tests.

Chief Business and Commercial Affairs Officer at BioNTech Shaun Marett thanked the Kuwaiti government for its support and confidence in their ability to develop a vaccine believed to be able to confront this global epidemic. The goal is to provide global supplies of a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 to many people around the world as soon as possible, he said. Pfizer and BioNTech began obtaining regulatory approvals in Nov 2020 and are expected to manufacture up to 3.1 billion doses globally by the end of 2021. - KUNA