ABU DHABI 7 August 2020: The world’s first Phase III trials of an inactivated vaccine for Covid-19 being held in the United Arab Emirates have reached a major milestone with over 5,000 volunteers have now received their first vaccination.
The 5,000th vaccination was given in the presence of Dr. Jamal Al Kaabi, Acting Under-Secretary of Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, at the recently developed purpose-built walk-in registration, screening and testing centre at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Dr. Al Kaabi was the second participant in the vaccination programme and received his second shot this week.
The trials began in Abu Dhabi on 16th July and are being managed by G42 Healthcare in partnership with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP, and Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, SEHA. The inactivated vaccine has been developed by Sinopharm CNBG, the world’s sixth-largest vaccine manufacturer.
A sense of nationwide pride and shared commitment has led to over 80 nationalities in the community already volunteering to participate.
The Adnec facility can manage 1,000 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 centre is also now operational at the Al Qarain Health Centre in Sharjah with a daily capacity of 500.
Dr. Nawal Ahmed Alkaabi, UAE Principal Investigator, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City CMO and Chairperson of the National Covid-19 Clinical Management Committee, said, “This milestone marks a significant achievement for the ongoing clinical trials and is testament to the global commitment to humanity of everyone who calls the UAE home.
“We reached the 5,000 vaccinations faster than anticipated and believe that our trials of the inactivated vaccine are moving faster than comparable trials processes anywhere in the world thanks to the winning combination of a national spirit of volunteerism and the strength of the UAE’s healthcare system.
“I would like to thank our volunteers and the clinical and administrative staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure this success and to make us confident of reaching our goal of 15,000 vaccinated volunteers in the weeks ahead.”
The ongoing trials are a continuing part of a series of national initiatives to both foster population health and to enhance the UAE’s medical research and development capabilities, including the local capacity to manufacture the vaccine. The trials 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.