UAE approves emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine

In the list of countries to give emergency approval to unfinished COVID-19 vaccine candidates, next will be the United Arab Emirates.

The United Arab Emirates gave emergency approval to its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which is being developed by a Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm.

Sinopharm’s vaccine obtained the emergency approval six weeks after commencing its stage-III trials.

The trials of the rumored inactivated vaccine began in July and are yet to be completed.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority shared via Twitter that the vaccine will be available for the first line of defense heroes at the highest risk of contracting the virus.

The announcement came amid a surge in new cases in the country, according to a report by Al Jazeera. UAE reported 1,007 new cases on September 12 (Saturday) and 777 new cases on September 14 (Monday).

For the time being, UAE has reached the sum of 81,782 cases, with 71,456 of which have already recovered.

Is it safe?

The emergency use of the vaccine was granted after it met the fixed criteria, following the test of 31,000 volunteers.

The tests yielded mild and expected side effects, and there are no reported severe side effects on any of the volunteers.

Furthermore, 1,000 people suffering from chronic diseases also took part in the testing program and saw no significant complications.

Scope for this vaccine

Abu Dhabi government claimed in July that Sinopharm’s vaccine cleared the first and the second phases of trials, hailing a 100% success rate.

The vaccine passed the said trials with flying colors in late June since the volunteers generated antibodies in just taking two doses within 28 days.

Taufiq Rahim, a senior official at the International Security Program at New America, told CNBC News that UAE has been in close cooperation with China since the coronavirus pandemic began. The country has closely coordinated with China for diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.

As per the Center for Disease Control, immobilized vaccine doses are made with either inactivated (killed) viruses or a protein from the virus.

Inactivated vaccines have been popular for a long time and have been used to treat diseases like measles and influenza.

Previously, Russia became the first country to launch a vaccine after two months of human testing officially. The safety of Russia’s vaccine is still questionable.

Meanwhile, UAE is a partner in testing and enrolment of coronavirus vaccine made by Russia.


Image courtesy of solarseven/Shutterstock

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