Jordan approves Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine

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Jordan announced late Monday that it had approved emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, as the United States kicked off a mass vaccination drive.

The Jordanian Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) did not specify when it would begin the rollout of the vaccine by US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Health Minister Nazir Obeidat said last month that the vaccine would be distributed free of charge to foreign residents as well as Jordanians.

JFDA director general Nizar Mheidat told the official Petra news agency it had "concluded all stages of granting the licence, in order to approve and distribute the vaccine".

He added that a study was also under way to allow the use of two other vaccines.

Jordan has previously said it was in talks on the use of two other COVID vaccines being developed by British pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca and US group Johnson & Johnson.

Jordan's for the Pfizer vaccine follows those of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and came six days after Britain launched the world's first mass innoculation campaign using the .

The kingdom has recorded 262,477 COVID-19 cases in its population of just over 10 million, 3,407 of them fatal.

Last week, Jordan opened the first of three military field hospitals for COVID-19 patients, intended to prevent a sharp rise in cases from overwhelming existing healthcare facilities.

© 2020 AFP

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