On Monday night, the UAE approved a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on frontline workers.
Although the UAE government pre-warned us a major announcement was coming, nobody had any idea just how huge it would be.
We knew trials for a vaccine were ongoing. China-based Sinopharm has a vaccine that reached Stage 3 of clinical trial testing; Phase 1 and 2 were complete in China, and the UAE was chosen for its diverse population by the pharmaceutical company, in alliance with the Abu Dhabi Government and Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence company G42 Healthcare.
Once approved a successful vaccine will trigger the immune system to produce effective antibodies against COVID-19.
Featuring 125 nationalities and 31,000 volunteers; the UAE is on the precipice of a world first but we’re not the only ones in this race. There are currently 150 vaccines in development worldwide, with billions of dollars of funding, pharmaceutical companies are vying to finish a task which usually takes over a decade to complete. (*The quickest vaccine ever brought to market prior to this took four years, that was for the mumps.)
Significant moment in fight against COVID-19: UAE Government approved vaccine for emergency use following successful phase III trials, jointly operated by UAE’s G42 & Chinese company Sinopharm. Frontline workers will grt 1st access. 31,000 volunteers took the vaccine in the UAE.
— هند مانع العتيبة Hend Al Otaiba (@hend_mana) September 14, 2020
The world race for a vaccine
One promising vaccine to hit headlines was AstraZeneca, when its trials were halted at the beginning of the month after one volunteer developed a rare inflammation of the spinal cord. This is a UK trial, however Stage 3 it had expanded to India, Brazil, South Africa and the US. The UK trials have restarted, other countries are still on hold.
In August, Russia was the first country in the world to grant approval for a COVID vaccine. Announced by President Vladimir Putin, he said, “I know [the vaccine] works quite effectively, helps to develop strong immunity, and has gone through all the necessary tests,” at this point the vaccine had not entered phase 3 and the announcement came after after two months of human testing.
Defining the stages
Stage 1: Vaccine testing safety and dosage
Stage 2: Vaccines in expanded safety trials
Stage 3: Vaccines in large scale-efficacy testing
Limited: Vaccines approved for early/limited use
Approved: Vaccines approved for full use.
Minor side effects were found in Phase 3 test of the UAE vaccine
The UAE has authorised the emergency use of the Covid19 vaccine; making it available to frontline workers, who are most at risk of catching Covid19.
The UAE government stressed the emergency use of the vaccine is fully compatible with the regulations and laws that allow a faster review of licensing procedures.
Results from the preclinical study, first and second phase trials showed that the vaccine is safe and effective. Phase 3, with 31,000 volunteers, is progressing very well, according to the update, with information coming from the ADNEC Centre in Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s largest field clinics for trials where the advanced clinical trials have been carried out.
There have been side effects, but reports say they are minor and to be expected, including pain in the injection area, a feeling of fatigue and/or simple headaches.
What defines emergency use
Emergency use is defined by ‘a declaration by the global health authorities of an emergency leading to a serious or life-threatening disease or condition – the COVID-19 pandemic – and the availability of scientific evidence that proves the effectiveness of the product intended for emergency response, the safety of its use, and the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks.
Thanks to its diverse community, the UAE is an ideal place for clinical trials
The UAE was chosen for its diverse population, with over 200 nationalities living here, it’s the perfect place to test a virus. Bahrain and Peru are also taking part in the Sinopharm trials.
“The United Arab Emirates is a nation of innovation and tolerance, that is home to individuals from every part of the world and ethnic background.
“We will work closely with our partner to complete this clinical trial successfully, and make this vaccine available to the people in need worldwide.” – Sinopharm CNBG Biological products president Jingjin Zhu
Residents are being reminded to follow precautionary measures of social distancing and wearing a face mask to maintain their health & safety when out in public.
If you’ve run out of disposable masks or are looking for quality reusable masks to avoid being FINED AED 3,000, then check these out:
Listen To The Lovin Daily: The UAE Approves Use Of COVID Vaccine For Frontline Workers