As the UAE leads global efforts in developing a Covid-19 vaccine, thousands of its residents and citizens have already taken a jab – either as clinical trial volunteers or frontliners.
The country started administering jabs in July, as it carried out the third and last phase of clinical trials for the inactivated Covid-19 vaccine developed by China’s state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm. Over 31,000 volunteered for the trials in just six weeks, including 1,000 residents with chronic diseases.
On Monday, it was announced that the Emirates is set to take part in another phase 3 clinical trial – this time for the Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V. Russian authorities licensed the jab for domestic use in August and it is currently being tested on 40,000 volunteers in Moscow. Once the UAE trials start – as managed by Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) – volunteers will be medically supervised for 90 days after taking the vaccine.
RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said the UAE has demonstrated “one of the most advanced approaches in the world” to combat the coronavirus pandemic. “We are pleased to commence the trials and we look forward to announcing in due course the registration process for volunteers.”
Vaccine for emergency use
So far, besides the current clinical trial volunteers, UAE frontliners have been given access to the Sinopharm vaccine after it was granted approval for emergency use.