UAE company nears phase III trial of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine

UAE company nears phase III trial of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine
UAE company nears phase III trial of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details UAE company nears phase III trial of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Hamed, chairman of the Department of Health, undergoing a clinical trial for the third phase of the inactive vaccine for COVID-19 in Abu Dhabi, last July. (AFP)

ABU DHABI – A United Arab Emirates company is nearing the end of Phase III clinical trials of a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine and hopes to manufacture it next year, a representative said.

The trial, which began in mid-July, is a partnership between Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG) and Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company Group 42 (G42).

The vaccine uses an inactivated virus; a well-known technology which has been used against diseases such as influenza and measles. Two doses are given.

It has been administered to more than 31,000 people in the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain and Jordan, G42 Healthcare CEO Ashish Koshy said.

Results analysis and publication will happen in around two months, Koshy said.

He said G42 has distribution and manufacturing agreements with Sinopharm and hopes to provide the UAE and other regional states with the vaccine, especially those that participated in the trial.

The target is to produce between 75 and 100 million doses next year in the UAE, he said.

“Early results are showing it is safe, there is a general rise in antibodies for all the volunteers,” Koshy said.

“In terms of being effective it is on the journey, but only time will tell in terms of the whole picture.”

Emirati volunteer Wo’oud al-Motawaa was vaccinated around two months ago and returned to the facility in the emirate of Abu Dhabi for one of her follow-up checks.

“I work in a hospital so it was something that we want to help with,” she said.

“We trust our country.”

G42 has said the UAE population’s diversity was an asset, offering around 200 different nationalities. Koshy said around 125 nationalities had participated so far.

Earlier this week, Emirati health authorities warned vaccine volunteers not to drop their guard against the virus and urged them to respect the safety measures mandated by the government.

During a briefing on Tuesday, officials said the vaccine was still in its testing phase and the second dose takes four weeks to improve the volunteer’s immunity to a degree that allows their body to fight off the virus completely.

People can still contract the virus and infect others during that four-week period, said Omar al-Hammadi, spokesman for the UAE’s COVID-19 briefings.

“The volunteer’s immunity only provides them protection and not for those around them, including their family or colleagues. The volunteer could transmit the infection to them if they do not adhere to the preventive measures,” he said.

He advised members of the public to wear their face masks, commit to physical distancing and frequently wash their hands as the world enters flu season.

“Protecting yourself against the flu requires the same steps as protecting yourself from Covid-19: social distancing, wearing a face mask and avoiding touching surfaces and then touching your face,” Hammadi said.

He advised the public to get the flu vaccine this year, noting that it takes about two weeks for the body to develop antibodies to protect against the virus.

Hammadi also explained that the flu vaccine would not protect a person from Covid-19 but would help boost immunity should someone contract both viruses.

The UAE, whose tally stands at more than 101,000 infections and 435 deaths, has seen the number of daily new coronavirus cases surge over the past two months from 164 on August 3 to a high of 1,231 cases last week.

The UAE has a high per capita rate of COVID-19 tests, having carried out more than 10 million tests in a population of around 9.9 million, the government statistics authority says.

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