Coronavirus: UAE to host world’s first Phase III clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine

Cars line up as people wait to enter a drive thru testing centre for the coronavirus in Abu Dhabi on April 2, 2020. (AFP)

The UAE has announced on Wednesday it will be hosting the world’s first Phase III clinical trials of an inactivated vaccine to combat COVID-19, says the Ministry of Health and Prevention.

The ministry said it is now dedicating the Al Qarayen Health Centre in the emirate of Sharjah as the first center outside the capital Abu Dhabi to register, screen and test volunteers wishing to participate in the clinical trials of the inactivated vaccine which was developed by Abu Dhabi-based G42 Healthcare and Sinopharm CNBG, the world’s sixth-largest vaccine manufacturer, according to a statement carried by the state’s news agency WAM.

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“The UAE health sector adopts a flexible and multi-track strategy in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, which depends on competent authorities conducting the largest possible number of medical tests and providing necessary care for the infected persons,” said Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention.

He added “expanding the geographical scope of the #4Humanity campaign to include all emirates aims to enhance the results of clinical trials and ensure the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine on a larger segment of individuals.”

A member of medical staff wearing protective gloves takes a swab from a man during drive-thru coronavirus disease testing (COVID-19) at a screening center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Reuters)

A member of medical staff wearing protective gloves takes a swab from a man during drive-thru coronavirus disease testing (COVID-19) at a screening center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Reuters)

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The phase III clinical trials follow the success of the phase I and phase II trials conducted by Sinopharm in China, which resulted in 100 percent of the volunteers generating antibodies after two doses in 28 days, read WAM statement.

The phase III trials are open to individual volunteers aged between 18 and 60 living in the UAE and will last for three to six months, with the volunteers required to be available for follow-ups during this time.

The UAE has exempted volunteers of the Phase III COVID-19 vaccine trials from any other COVID-19 tests outside the trial’s framework.

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Last Update: Thursday, 06 August 2020 KSA 08:15 - GMT 05:15
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