UAE to start manufacturing Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine this year - reports
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UAE to start manufacturing Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine this year – reports

UAE to start manufacturing Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine this year – reports

The UAE reported its highest daily rise of Covid-19 case on January 6, equalling 2,067

Sinopharm

The UAE will commence manufacturing the Sinopharm vaccine under licence from the Chinese drugmaker later this year.

The local production plan will cater to local and global demand, and will complement the millions of shots already received to inoculate its people.

Besides local manufacturing, the plan to achieve herd immunity by later this year, with 70 per cent of the UAE population inoculated is also anticipated. A probe into if the vaccine is suitable for children, a further study of new strains and the ability of the incumbent vaccine to fight them, and a campaign to ensure volunteers who received a placebo during Phase III Trials receive the vaccination, are among major developments expected in coming months, Dr Nawal Al Kaabi, chairwoman of the National Covid-19 Clinical Management Committee, and technology firm G42 told local newspaper The National.

“We are in advanced stages of discussion with our key strategic partners and are happy to announce that local manufacturing of the vaccine will be done in the UAE,” Ashish Koshy, chief executive of G42 Healthcare. “We intend to commence production this year.”

“The goal is to be self-sufficient and to ensure that manufacturing can be done from A to Z locally,” Mr Koshy added.

The number of vaccines that could be produced locally is under study, he added.

State-backed vaccine developer China National Biotec Group (CNBG) said one of its shots is effective in preventing Covid-19 in 79.3 per cent of people.

The efficacy rate for the vaccine – one of two developed by CNBG – meets the minimum standard of 50 per cent set by US regulators for emergency authorisation of Covid vaccines. However, vaccines using cutting-edge messenger RNA technology from Moderna and Pfizer have produced far better results, reducing symptomatic Covid cases by well over 90 per cent in giant trials.

The rate announced for the CNBG shot is also lower than what was reported from trials of the vaccine in the UAE, which put the protection level at 86 per cent.

“As an infectious disease expert, I see no difference,” Dr Al Kaabi said, adding that the vaccine still offers high-level protection against serious variants of Covid-19.

The UAE has reported its highest daily rise in Covid-19 infections on January 6, totalling 2,067 cases. The nation-wide count, subsequently has spiked to 218,766.

The health ministry also confirmed 2,199 additional recoveries and four deaths.

With inputs from Bloomberg

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