China-based Sinopharm has commenced a Phase III clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIECC).

The trial received approval from the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA).

During the study in Bahrain, Sinopharm’s inactivated vaccine candidate will be assessed for its effectiveness in antibody generation and the acquired protection against the virus.

The vaccine candidate is pre-qualified by the World Health Organization and participants can register via the National Volunteer Platform.

The Phase III trial involves up to 6,000 volunteers aged more than 18 years, according to the Bahrain Ministry of Health.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said: “The move is part of the steps taken within the on-going 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 Health Ministry highlighted its keenness to facilitate the procedures and mechanisms that enable volunteering citizens and residents to join the third phase of the clinical trial of the potential vaccine, enlisted by the World Health Organization.”

Last month, Sinopharm initiated the Phase III trial to assess its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The trial in UAE is being conducted by Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG) in alliance with the Abu Dhabi Government and artificial intelligence firm G42 Healthcare.

Health practitioners from Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA) agreed to manage the study. Participation of up to15,000 volunteers has been authorised.

Sinopharm has also obtained approvals to test its potential Covid-19 vaccine in Argentina, Peru and Morocco, reported Reuters.

The vaccine candidate is said to have demonstrated encouraging profile in the first two trial phases conducted by the company in China.