UAE Approves a Chinese-Made Coronavirus Vaccine for Emergency Use

A medical worker, wearing disposable gloves, measures the temperature of a man in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on April 1, 2020, through a coronovirus drive-screening center.

Francois Nail | Getty Images

PARIS – The UAE has approved a Chinese coronavirus vaccine for emergency use for its border health workers, its top crisis authority announced on Monday.

In a tweet, the UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said, “The vaccine will be available to our first defense heroes who are at risk from the virus.” ”

According to the NCEMA, 31,000 volunteers have already participated in the clinical trial of the vaccine, including 1000 volunteer chronic illnesses. Three-phase trials of the vaccine are in progress, but the agency said no unexpected side effects have been detected thus far.

Phase three trials, which began in July in the Gulf country at 10 million, are for the Kovid-19 vaccine developed by Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinofam. The NCEMA said that after the completion of a set of emergency use standards for border health workers were approved and clinical trials were completed on 31,000 volunteers. The agency described mild side effects such as a sore throat on volunteers, but emphasized the lack of serious side effects.

Phase three trials are performed with a large number of volunteers – typically between 300 and 3,000 – to confirm and expand on safety and effectiveness data from prior phase one and two trials.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the UAE has seen a recent spike in coronovirus cases, with 5,812 new infections reported as of Monday last week and 399 deaths due to the epidemic. Officials in Abu Dhabi say the country has conducted more than 8.2 million tests.

Expand partnership with China

A statement from the UAE government said that the Sinofam vaccine received approval from the Chinese government in June, and its phase one and two trials in the United Arab Emirates produced antibodies against the virus of two patients over four weeks.

The UAE has expanded its cooperation with China in recent years in areas including technology, defense procurement, trade, tourism and health.

“Since the UAE has been in close cooperation with China around diagnostics, medical science and vaccines since the onset of the pandemic,” Taufiq Rahim, a senior fellow of the International Security Program in New America, said on Tuesday.

“This further strengthens the country’s unique role in having close strategic ties with two of the world’s major geopolitical rivals – China and the United States.”

The seven-emirate country has also been announced as a partner in the testing and enrollment of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, first approved by a national government in early September. In the West, three vaccines have reached phase three clinical trials: those developed by Pfizer, Modern and AstraZeneca.