DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates on Monday granted emergency approval for the use of a coronavirus vaccine six weeks after human trials began in the Gulf Arab state.
A Phase III trial of a COVID-19 inactivated vaccine developed by the Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopham began in the United Arab Emirates in July and has not yet been completed.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said in a tweet, “The vaccine will be available for the first line of our defense heroes at the greatest risk of virus protection.” ”
The announcement comes amid an increase in new COVID-19 cases in the United Arab Emirates, with 1,007 cases reported on Saturday, the highest since the onset of the epidemic. 777 new cases were reported on Monday.
Emergency use of the vaccine, which is still being tested, was provided following a set criteria and was tested on 31,000 volunteers.
The agency said there were mild and expected side effects, but no serious side effects. It added one thousand people suffering from chronic diseases who did not see any complications.
Sinopharm received approval for testing in late June. A statement from the Abu Dhabi government in July stated that the experimental vaccine passed stages I and II of antibody testing after two doses on 28% of 100% of volunteers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, inactivated vaccines – made either with inactivated (killed) viruses or with proteins from viruses – are well known and have been used against diseases such as influenza and measles.
Russia became the first country in the world to receive regulatory approval for a coronovirus vaccine in August after less than two months of human testing.
Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir and Hadel Al Sayigh; Written by Nafisa Eltahir and Alexander Cornwell; Editing by David Evans and Aurora Ellis