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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The UAE's health minister has approved the use of a Covid-19 vaccine for frontline workers following successful clinical trials in Abu Dhabi.
Abdulrahman Al Owais, said the inactive vaccine could be utilised in "cases of emergency" involving the country's health care staff.
Mr Al Owais, speaking during a regular media briefing, said extensive tests involving 31,000 volunteers had shown the vaccine to be safe.
Dr Nawal Al Kaabi, the chair of the National Clinical Committee for Covid-19, said volunteers felt only minor symptoms during the trial, such as a sore throat.
"The emergency use of the vaccine is fully and completely compatible with the laws and regulations, and our goal is to provide all safety means for the first line of defense to protect them from any dangers that they may face due to the nature of their work," said Mr Al Owais.
"The results of studies during the final stages of the third stage showed that the vaccine is effective and resulted in a strong response, and the generation of antibodies to the virus.
"Studies on the safety of the vaccination have been reviewed and showed that it is safe and safe for use."
The vaccine was developed by pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, based in China, where phases 1 and 2 of the trials were successfully conducted.
The UAE is involved through an agreement with technology company Group 42 and was chosen for the third phase for its population diversity.
The World Health Organisation-recognised trial began on July 16.
Dr Al Kaabi said the results of the clinical trials were "very positive".
She thanked the volunteers, representing 125 nationalities, for playing a key role in the fight to contain the pandemic.
"The initial results are encouraging in terms of the presence of antibiotics in the body," said Dr Al Kaabi, who added that studies are still ongoing.
"The side effects that were detected are simple and expected, like any other vaccine.
"There were very normal symptoms, like feeling some pain in the throat. There were no serious side effects that required medical intervention. The preliminary results are positive.
"The vaccine was tried on 1,000 volunteers suffering from chronic diseases, and no complications occurred to them."
Dr Al Kaabi said health authorities had taken every precaution to ensure the quality and safety of the vaccine trial.
The major breakthrough was announced as the UAE recorded 777 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country's total to 80,266.
A further 530 patients recovered as the overall tally climbed to 69,981.
No patients died during the 24-hour reporting period as the death toll in the Emirates remained at 399.
The latest infections were detected after a further 64,084 tests were conducted.
The UAE has carried out close to 8.2 million tests since the start of the outbreak.
Updated: September 14, 2020 08:31 PM
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