The UAE move to grant emergency approval to use a COVID-19 vaccine on health workers has given a significant fillip to the country’s battle against the new coronavirus.
The vaccine arms medical professionals and other “frontline heroes” with more confidence as they work to save lives affected by the virus.
The approval is evidence of the success of the third phase of the human trials of a vaccine developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm.
Around 38 vaccines are in Phase III of the human trials in several countries, including the UAE. The results after six weeks have been good enough for the UAE to grant emergency approval
The attenuated (inactivated) vaccine had been administered to around 31,000 volunteers in the UAE, including many with chronic conditions. And the results are encouraging.
The vaccine comes at a time when there has been a surge in cases in the UAE. The spike is attributed to increased testing, following the reopening of the economy and the rise in social activities.
The importance of immunisation against COVID-19 for frontline workers cannot be overestimated. Being the first line of defence, their risk of contracting the virus is very high.
These are normal people leading abnormal lives in the times of COVID-19 to help patients beat the coronavirus. The vaccine will protect them while they continue saving lives.
Stem the onslaught of coronavirus
A vaccine is the biggest hope to stem the onslaught of the coronavirus. That was implanted in our minds from around the time when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic.
As the number of cases neared 30 million, the race for a vaccine continues at a rapid pace in more than 150 labs around the globe.
Around 38 vaccines are in Phase III of the human trials in several countries, including the UAE. The results after six weeks have been good enough for the UAE to grant emergency approval.
Only two other vaccines have received emergency-use approval: China is providing one for their military personnel for a year, and Russia’s Sputnik V is for limited use.
These are positive signs in a bleak COVID-19 scenario. But they should not be mistaken as a licence to throw caution into the winds.
As residents of the UAE, we have a responsibility to help the country flatten the coronavirus curve. The Gulf News’ Zero Campaign is part of the efforts to help people keep out the virus.
The campaign drives home the importance of frequent handwashing, wearing masks and social distancing so that the UAE can bring down the number of cases to zero.
Help us to help others. Follow the COVID-19 protocol, and keep the UAE safe from the coronavirus.