The Phase III trials of a potential vaccine for COVID-19 being held in the United Arab Emirates, as of 9th August, reached a major milestone with over 5000 volunteers having now received their first round of vaccination. The UAE is the first country to conduct the Phase III trial for this particular inactive vaccine.
Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, Acting Under-Secretary of Department of Health, visited the recently developed purpose-built screening and testing centre at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, ADNEC when the 5000th vaccination was administered. Dr Al Kaabi himself took part in the programme.
The trials which 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, began in Abu Dhabi on 16th July. The inactivated vaccine was developed by the world's sixth-largest vaccine manufacturer, Sinopharm CNBG.
The ADNEC facility has a capacity of 1000 volunteers a day. Another walk-in centre is also now operational at the Al Qarain Health Centre in Sharjah with a daily capacity of 500 volunteers.
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.
He continued saying that UAE has reached the 5000 vaccinations faster than anticipated and believes that their trials of the inactivated vaccine are moving faster than comparable trials processes anywhere in the world. He gave credit to the combination of a national spirit of volunteerism and the strength of the UAE's healthcare system.
He added that he would like to thank the volunteers and the clinical and administrative staff who worked hard to ensure this success, and to make us confident of reaching our goal of 15,000 vaccinated volunteers in the weeks ahead.
G42 Healthcare CEO, Ashish Koshy, "would also want to encourage the residents of the UAE to continue to volunteer and to take advantage of the readily accessible centres in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah and the streamlined registration, screening and vaccination protocols that have been established." He extended gratitude for the continued hard work and coordination of the medical teams, laboratory team, 4Humanity staff, and the UAE government organisations who are helping to mobilise and ensure the efficient running of the trials."
The vaccinated represent the range of nationalities and background in the UAE of all ages between 18 and 60.
The trials are 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 follows the international guidelines stipulated by the World Health Organisation, WHO, and the United States Food and Drug Administration, USFDA.