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UAE hits target of 15,000 volunteers for Covid-19 vaccine phase III trials

UAE hits target of 15,000 volunteers for Covid-19 vaccine phase III trials

The target was achieved in less than a month with individuals from 107 nationalities participating in the programme

UAE vaccine trial

The UAE announced that it had reached its target of 15,000 volunteers for the world’s first phase III trials of an inactivated vaccine for Covid-19.

The target was achieved in less than a month with individuals from 107 nationalities participating in the programme, including more than 4,500 Emiratis, official news agency WAM reported.

The trials are managed by G42 Healthcare in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA).

The inactivated vaccine has been developed by Sinopharm CNBG. If successful, the vaccine could enter the market by the end of 2020 or early 2021.

Since launching on July 16 in Abu Dhabi, the #4Humanity trials saw the 15,000 volunteers receive the first of two vaccine shots which they will be given during the process.

In the next stage, they will receive the second shot and continue to undergo regular monitoring and health checks, with full ongoing support provided to ensure their wellbeing, the report said.

Read: UAE to begin world’s first phase III clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine with 15,000 volunteers

Over 140 doctors, 300 nurses, as well as other administrative and technical support staff are helping to facilitate the vaccine trial.

G42 Healthcare CEO Ashish Koshy said: “The 107 nationalities who have now volunteered are a powerful vindication of the decision we made to encourage Sinopharm CNBG to partner with us in the UAE because of the enormously diverse and wide-ranging ethnicity and demographics of the country’s population.

“But this milestone only marks the completion of the volunteer first vaccination phase. The combined scientific and clinical teams will now be ensuring the smooth management of our 15,000 volunteers through every stage of their 42-day journey that includes regular check-ups and of course returning for a second shot of the inactivated vaccine.”

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi – who was the first to volunteer, has already received the first and second shots.

“I was enormously proud to have been the first volunteer and since then it has been truly heartwarming to see how the nation has pulled together, helping us achieve our target of participants in just four weeks since the trials began,” he said.

The report also confirmed that volunteers can still register through the portal

The trial is part of a series of national initiatives to enhance the UAE’s medical research and development capabilities, including manufacturing the vaccine locally.

Minister of Health and Prevention Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais said: “This is a very proud day for everyone associated with these trials and we are looking forward to continuing to play an integral role in the work to come in the months ahead.”

Meanwhile, in the first extension of the programme outside the UAE, phase III trials are now being conducted in Bahrain. These results will be part of the overall trials that began in the UAE and use the same inactivated vaccine from Sinopharm CNBG and identical clinical protocols. The process is being managed by G42 Healthcare along with the Bahrain Ministry of Health.

Plans are in the advanced stages for further centres to be opened in additional locations, the report added.

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