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31,000 Volunteers Take Part in Coronavirus Vaccine Trials in the UAE


Photo: Shutterstock

Proving that the people of UAE are leaders in the plight against Covid-19, authorities have announced that more than 31,000 volunteers from around the Emirates have taken part in clinical Phase III vaccine trials to help combat the virus.

The inactive vaccine, which essentially contains a killed version of the coronavirus, was trialed on volunteers from a range of 120 different nationalities – the beauty of the multi-national melting pots of cultures in the region. Thousands of volunteers have already received their second shot of the vaccine and will continue to undergo regular health checks and monitoring.

The trial which began on July 16 and is recognized by the World Health Organisation takes 42 days in total to complete for each patient from vaccination to completion of health checks.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, chairman of the Department of Health and Prevention, said the UAE’s vaccine trials were a world-class accomplishment. “This achievement would not have been possible without the support of our wise leadership and its continuous support of scientific research in the healthcare sector,” he commented, adding: “This indeed is an accomplishment in the field of health care and will place our country at the forefront of global research efforts to confront this pandemic.”

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, chairman of the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, takes part in the clinical trial. Photo: WAM

The UAE Minister of Health and Prevention, Abdulrahman Al Owais, also released a statement personally thanking the volunteers for supporting with these important trials. “From the very outset the UAE leadership was totally committed to overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic through a global collaborative effort,” Mr Al Owais said. “The public-spirited nature of citizens and residents, and their willingness to volunteer is a powerful endorsement of the proactive approach the UAE has taken in what is a world-leading inactivated vaccine trials program.

“Everyone involved in the trials, from the volunteers to the clinical and administrative staff, can be enormously proud of what has been achieved already showing once again the sense of unity and shared purpose that has driven the nation for the past five decades.”

Developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, it mirrors trials in phases I and II which were also conducted in China itself. The UAE has partnered on this initiative through an agreement with technology company Group 42 and was chosen for the third phase because of the population diversity across the region. Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health has stated that the drive has been successful and they have recruited enough volunteers to complete the clinical trial, so no new registrations are currently being accepted.

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