The Covid-19 vaccination has been cleared as safe for use by the UAE Ministry of Health
15 September 2020| Last updated on 15 September 2020
The coronavirus vaccine will be available to high-risk people in the UAE
The use of a Covid-19 vaccine has been approved by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), after successful clinical trials in Abu Dhabi.
The vaccine received "emergency approval" from the ministry. For now, it's available for frontline health workers who are deemed at the highest risk of contracting the virus. The Covid-19 vaccine will be able to protect them while working.
"The vaccine emergency approval for use is fully aligned with regulations and laws which permit (an) accelerated authorisation process," said Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, the Minister of Health and Prevention, during a virtual press briefing.
"The results of the [vaccine's] first and second test phases showed that it is safe, effective and triggered the right response."
He added that the emergency approval was given based on the vaccine "meeting a set of criteria for this specific purpose, and working closely with the vaccine's developers".
All Covid-19 tests in the UAE have been successful so far
Extensive testing of the coronavirus vaccine among 31,000 volunteers in Abu Dhabi proved that the vaccine is safe, continued the minister.
Dr Nawal Al Kaabi, chairwoman of the National Clinical Committee for Covid-19, said that during the trial the volunteers only felt minor symptoms, such as a sore throat.
She confirmed that the trials have been "moving on the right path, with all tests being successful so far".
"In less than six weeks since the study began, 31,000 volunteers representing 125 nationalities have participated in the clinical trials. The side effects which have been reported so far are mild and expected, like any other vaccine, and no severe side effects have been encountered," said Dr. Al Kaabi.
UAE health officials said the Covid-19 vaccine's assessment was done "under a licence for emergency and limited use, considering target groups, product characteristics, clinical studies data, and all relevant available scientific evidence".
"The health authorities have followed all procedures to control the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine, in coordination with the vaccine's creators," added Dr Al Kaabi.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, chairman of Department of Health in Abu Dhabi, participating in Phase III of the Covid-19 vaccine trials.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, chairman of the Department of Health and Prevention in Abu Dhabi, called the UAE’s vaccine trials a "world-class accomplishment".
"This achievement would not have been possible without the support of our wise leadership and its continuous support of scientific research in the healthcare sector,” he said.
On July 16, health authorities rolled out Phase III of the Covid-19 inactivated vaccine's trials in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) collaborated with the Abu Dhabi Department of Health, G42 Healthcare and Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm CNBG to facilitate the third phase of its clinical trials.
A team of specialist medical practitioners from SEHA has been managing and evaluating the vaccine trials. All test shots were administered at dedicated centres for both expat and UAE national volunteers.
The volunteers were closely monitored for 42 days, and they had to visit the testing centres at least 17 times. They needed to visit the testing centres at least 17 times.
During this time, the volunteers were prohibited to travel outside of the UAE country and were granted easy access to clinics and testing centres. Virtual periodic follow-ups were conducted for up to six months.
UAE health authorities reported 777 new Covid-19 cases, 530 recoveries and zero deaths.
On Sunday, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced that it has slashed the fees of Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests down to AED 250.
The move was made to encourage proactive medical testing in the community by making the nasal swab test more accessible.