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New walk-in facility for UAE’s Covid-19 vaccine trials

The new facility will be open daily from 8am to 8pm, including Eid holidays except on Friday.

Residents who want to volunteer for the UAE’s ongoing Covid-19 vaccine trials may now register at the new walk-in facility set up at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec).

Through the new facility, volunteers in Abu Dhabi can be screened on-site and, if they are found eligible, they may be invited to return in a few days to take the first shot of the vaccine. It will be open daily from 8am to 8pm, including Eid holidays except on Friday.

Volunteers should be 18 to 60 years of age with no serious underlying medical issues and without previous Covid-19 infection. The Adnec facility will be open only to Abu Dhabi residents.  

The vaccine being used in the trial has been developed by pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm CNBG, and it is the world’s first inactivated Covid-19 vaccine to enter the third phase of the process. It has showed promising results during the first and second stage of trials in China.

In the UAE, the Phase 3 clinical trials have started on July 16, with thousands of people registering for the programme through the website 4humanity.ae.
 
Though the target number of volunteers for the trial was placed at 15,000, health authorities have reported that as many as 10,000 have signed up just a few days after the programme’s launch.

Abu Dhabi-based G42 Healthcare is managing the process under the supervision of the Department of Health Abu Dhabi and in coordination with Abu Dhabi Health Services (Seha), whose specialised staff runs on-site operations.  

Soon, similar facilities will be set up across UAE

Recently, authorities have confirmed that coordination is under way to open the trials to volunteers from across the UAE.

G42 Healthcare CEO Ashish Koshy on Wednesday said they are now looking into the “feasibility of setting up similar sites in other parts of the UAE to improve convenience for volunteers”.

“There has been an amazing response from the UAE public to volunteer and participate in the 4Humanity programme. This new facility at Adnec has been purpose-built to the highest standards and will ensure rapid turnaround times in response to the overwhelming number of registrations already received,” said Koshy.

Individuals who have already registered online but have not yet had a follow-up call may also visit the Adnec walk-in clinic for on-site screening. They may get the first vaccination three days after receiving a negative test for Covid-19. 

Up to 800 volunteers can be handled daily

The facility can accommodate up to 800 volunteers every day, said  Dr Nawal Ahmed Alkaabi, UAE principal investigator at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, CMO and chairperson of the National COVID-19 Clinical Management Committee.

A team of nurses, administrators, healthcare professionals and volunteers from Seha are managing the registration and screening process and administering the vaccine.  

“Adnec  is a convenient and accessible location for the people of Abu Dhabi to reach.  It will also enable us to continue and manage the registration, screening and trial process throughout the Eid Al Adha holidays,” Alkaabi said.

Branded 4Humanity signage has been installed at ADNEC to ensure that volunteers can quickly and easily find the registration desks and be taken through the various steps of the trial process.  

On-site staff from Seha will also be helping  volunteers  maintain the appropriate social distancing protocols during their visit.  

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