The UAE Health Minister, Abdulrahman Al Owais, last night approved a vaccine for emergency cases for frontline workers, as they are most likely to contract the COVID-19 virus. The vaccine was tested on 31,000 volunteers before being approved. The Health Minister commented, “The emergency use of the vaccine is fully and completely compatible with the laws and regulations.”
The decision was made due to the rise in cases over the past few days, with the latest being 777 new cases on Monday. Mr. Al Owais added, “These steps are taken with the goal of preserving the lives of millions of people and providing health care for those infected."
Dr Nawal Al Kaabi, Chairwoman of the National Clinical Committee for COVID-19 states, “Volunteers felt only minor symptoms, such as a sore throat, during the trial.” Dr Al Kaabi thanked the 125 nationalities that participated in the trials and commented, "The initial results are encouraging in terms of the presence of antibodies in the body."
The trial for the vaccines was set up at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and the move to make the vaccine available was a huge step forward in the UAE. The vaccine is one of only 26 in the world that has passed human trials and was developed by pharmaceutical group Sinopharm, based in China. The UAE was chosen for Phase 3 by technology company, Group 42.