Medical workers in UAE to use Chinese Covid-19 vaccine, as trials continue

Medical workers in UAE to use Chinese Covid-19 vaccine, as trials continue
The UAE has allowed the use of a Chinese-produced vaccine to tackle Covid-19, despite being tested only six-weeks ago.
2 min read
15 September, 2020
Trials of a coronavirus vaccine are still being carried out [Getty-file photo]
The UAE has given front-line medical workers emergency use of a Chinese-produced Covid-19 vaccine, which is still being tested on humans, authorities announced on Monday.

Trials for the vaccine, made by Chinese-state owned pharmaceutical company Sinopham, have been carried out in the UAE since July and have passed two phases of testing.

On Monday, Abu Dhabi said that after positive inital results in the trials it will allow doctors treating coronavirus patients to use the vaccine, as testing enters phase three.

"The vaccine will be available to our first line of defense heroes who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus, in order to protect them from any dangers," said UAE Minister of Health Dr Abdul Rahman Al-Owais.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority tweeted that authorities had given emergency approval for use of the drug, despite it still being in a testing phase.

"The health authorities have followed all procedures to control the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine in coordination with the vaccine's creators," the body tweeted.

"The vaccine will be available to our first line of defense heroes who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus."

The NCEMA UAE said that testing of the vaccine will continue after the first two trial phases proved to be "safe, effective and triggered the right response".

It said that 31,000 people took part in the clinical trials and the vaccine was tested on 1,000 volunteers and that "no complications occurred", producing only mild side effects.

"The results of clinical trials in our country are moving on the right path, with all tests being successful so far," the body tweeted.

"The evaluation was performed under a license for emergency and limited use, considering target groups, product characteristics, clinical studies data, and all relevant available scientific evidence."

UAE authorities reported that 100 percent of people tested in the trials produced antibodies after two doses of the drug, Indian broadcaster NDTV reported.

Russia approved use for a vaccine last month, which has been tested in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The UAE has seen a surge in coronavirus cases with the highest daily spike reported on Saturday after recording over 1,000 new infections.

The country has reported 80,266 cases of Covid-19, resulting in 399 deaths.

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