Qatar, Oman to receive Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week

FILE PHOTO: A vial of the Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) used at The Reservoir nursing facility is shown in West Hartford, Connecticut, U.S., December 18, 2020. Stephen Dunn/Pool via REUTERS

CAIRO (Reuters) - Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health granted emergency use authorisation for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and is due to receive the first shipment on Monday, state media reported.

A ministry statement said people aged 16 years and above would be eligible. Qatar has also signed an agreement with drugmaker Moderna Inc to buy its vaccine.

Fellow Gulf Arab state Oman will receive its first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipment on Wednesday, a health ministry official said in remarks carried on a government Twitter account on Monday, adding the initial phase would cover 20% of the population.

Saudi Arabia last week became the first Arab country to start inoculating people with the Pfizer-BioNTech shot.

Kuwait has said it expects to start receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine before the end of the year.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain earlier this month rolled out a vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) to the general public. Bahrain has also granted emergency authorisation use for the Pfizer vaccine.

Reporting by Hesham Abdul Khalek and Ahmed Tolba in Cairo; Additional reporting by Ghaida Ghantous in Dubai; Editing by Peter Cooney and Toby Chopra