The United Arab Emirates’ Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan has received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, he announced in a photo shared on Twitter Friday.
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“Corona vaccination is our way to return to normal life,” Sheikh Abdullah said in tweet he shared along with a photo of a healthcare worker injecting his arm with what appears to be the vaccine.
The UAE in September issued emergency approval for the use of the COVID-19 vaccine for frontline healthcare workers fighting the virus in the country.
“The vaccine will be available to our first line of defense heroes who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus,” according to the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority.
The vaccine is “fully and completely compatible with laws and regulations,” the UAE’s Minister of Health and Prevention Abdul Rahman al-Owais said during a televised press conference at the time. In September, Al-Owais was the first to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in the UAE.
Other UAE officials have received the vaccine in recent weeks, including the foreign ministry’s Director of Strategic Communications Hend al-Otaiba, who said last week that the vaccine will “soon be available to all frontliners” in the country.
She also shared a photo on Twitter captioned, “Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine that resulted from successful collaboration between the UAE and Chinese pharmaceutical group Sinopharm.”
Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine that resulted from successful collaboration between the UAE and Chinese pharmaceutical group Sinopharm. Soon, the vaccine will be available to all frontliners in the UAE as a major step forward in our successful fight against COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/SHUb45W2mF— هند مانع العتيبة Hend Al Otaiba (@hend_mana) October 6, 2020
The vaccine is effective and has resulted in a “strong response” by generated antibodies in trial volunteers, according to the health minister.
COVID-19 vaccine trial
A total of 31,000 volunteers of 125 nationalities participated in the clinical trials held in the UAE, a government official said during the press conference.
Doctor Nawal al-Kaabi said initial results of the ongoing trial are “encouraging” and only minor side effects were detected in volunteers who developed antibodies.
“No serious side effects that require immediate medical treatment were recorded,” she added.
Al-Kaabi also said the vaccine did not cause any complications on 1,000 volunteers who have pre-existing conditions.
Health authorities have followed quality control procedures and safety measures to ensure the efficacy of the vaccine, according to al-Kaabi.