UAE completes clinical trials for Russian COVID-19 vaccine with 1,000 volunteers

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The clinical trials for a Russian human adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine in the United Arab Emirates have been completed, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Thursday.

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A total of 1,000 volunteers in the UAE have received their second dose, according to WAM.

Authorities will now monitor the volunteers’ immune response over 180 days to determine the efficacy of the vaccine.

The data will be combined with findings collected from other global trials.

“Recent interim results from Phase III of clinical trials of the Russian human adenovirus-based vaccine, as reported in leading international medical journal The Lancet, showed high efficacy of 91.6 per cent, as well as strong immunogenicity and safety results,” WAM reported.

“UAE findings are to be released by April 2021 and amalgamated with promising research findings from other global trials,” WAM added.

People sit as they wait their turn for vaccine trials in Abu Dhabi, UAE, October 6, 2020. (Reuters)
People sit as they wait their turn for vaccine trials in Abu Dhabi, UAE, October 6, 2020. (Reuters)

The Russian vaccine was tested on healthy adults, who are aged from 18 years and above. All the volunteers live in the UAE and do not have a history of COVID-19 vaccinations or infection.

To take part in the trials, the volunteers must also not have suffered any communicable or severe respiratory diseases.

The vaccine was registered for use in Russia in August 2020, the first registered COVID-19 vaccine out of 165 being developed across the world.

“Moving onto this next monitoring phase should be celebrated as an achievement for the UAE’s medical community. It’s an important precursor to studying the immune response in a diverse range of volunteers, paving the way for further securing the safety of our citizens and residents against COVID-19,” said Dr. Ahmed al-Hammadi, the trial’s principal investigator and Consultant Physician in the UAE.

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