Frontline workers begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine

©Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Frontline workers in Abu Dhabi’s vital sectors are now beginning to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Abu Dhabi Media Office announced on Thursday.

The Chinese-developed vaccine was granted emergency approval after undergoing more than two months of Phase III testing in the UAE, with the aim of protecting workers on the frontlines in the fight against the coronavirus.

Khalid Bin Mohammad Bin Zayed, member of the Executive Council and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, was also administered the vaccine on Thursday. He then toured the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi’s premier public hospital, which is operated by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha).

The COVID-19 vaccine, developed by pharmaceutical giant, Sinopharm China National Biotec Group, has been undergoing Phase III testing in the UAE since July 16. The trials are led by technology firm, Group 42, under its health wing, G42 Healthcare. Abu Dhabi health regulator, the Department of Health, and the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention are overseeing the trials, while Seha is administering the vaccine and ensuring care of volunteers.

On September 15, the vaccine received regulatory approval for use on front line workers. While the DoH’s chiefs were the first to receive it in June, other senior officials, including Abdulrahman Al Owais, UAE Minister for Health and Prevention, have started receiving the vaccine this week.

Meanwhile, G42 is continuing Phase III testing for 31,000 registered volunteers in the UAE, as well as in Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt.

According to Sinopharm, the vaccine has successfully generated antibodies in all volunteers during the first two phases of testing, which saw the two doses delivered about three weeks apart.

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