One of the first countries to start widespread covid immunization, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched a public vaccination program on Wednesday, using the Chinese Sinopharm product, after the vaccine using an inactive virus showed 86pc effectiveness in trials. The UAE has recorded more than 186,000 cases of coronavirus and 618 deaths. In Bahrain, the vaccine was made available to frontline healthcare workers after 7,700 people participated in clinical trials, and Egypt received its first shipment of the Chinese coronavirus vaccine last Thursday. Morocco is also planning to rely on the Sinopharm jab to meet its ambitious aim to vaccinate 80pc of its adults.
Peru suspended Chinese drug trials after a volunteer developed neurological problems and could not move his legs and arms. Western health experts complain that the Chinese drug giant has not made its lab data available.