UAE COVID-19 Vaccine Trials; 5000+ volunteers immunized

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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COVID-19 Phase 3 Vaccine Trials
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The world’s first Phase 3 trials of an inactivated vaccine for COVID-19 conducted in the United Arab Emirates achieved a major milestone as the 5000th volunteer walked out of the facility after receiving the first vaccination.

The 5000th vaccination was administered at the presence of Dr. Jamal Al Kaabi, the Acting Under-Secretary of Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, at the recently developed purpose-built walk-in registration, screening and testing center at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). Dr. Al Kaabi was the second participant in the vaccination program and received his second shot this week.

Phase 3 trials of an inactivated vaccine developed by the world’s sixth-largest vaccine manufacturer, Sinopharm CNBG began at Abu Dhabi on 16th July under the association of G42 Healthcare, Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA).

Vaccine trial facilities  

The recently equipped ADNEC facility can manage 1000 volunteers a day and is open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM to allow the maximum number of individuals to participate. A second walk-in center is also now operational at the Al Qarain Health Centre in Sharjah with a daily capacity of 500.

The thousands of volunteers who have now been vaccinated represent the whole range of nationalities and backgrounds in the UAE of all ages between 18 and 60.

The ongoing trials are a continuing part of a series of national initiatives to foster population health and to enhance the UAE’s medical research and development capabilities, including the local capacity to manufacture the vaccine. The trial process is being conducted following the international guidelines stipulated by the World Health Organisation, WHO, and the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).

The Phase III clinical trials follow the success of Phase I and Phase II trials conducted by Sinopharm in China, which resulted in 100 percent of the volunteers generating antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, after two doses in 28 days. The Phase III trials are open to individual volunteers aged between 18 and 60 living in the UAE and will last for six to twelve months, with the volunteers required to be available for follow-ups during this time.