Dr Jamal Al Kaabi
Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, acting undersecretary, Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, was the second volunteer to take part in the world’s first WHO-listed Phase III COVID-19 inactivated vaccine clinical trial in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Instagram/@admediaoffice

Abu Dhabi: The results of the first 100 volunteers in the UAE vaccine trial are now beginning to be analysed, a top official has said.

Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, undersecretary at the Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DoH), said the analysis of blood test results has started, including the results he himself provided as the second volunteer of the vaccine trials.

See more

“The tests of this double-blinded study are now being studied as more and more data is accumulated,” Dr Al Kaabi said.

Wednesday, August 26, marked 42 days since the start of vaccine trials in the UAE.

Inactivated vaccine trials

Dr Al Kaabi was one of two senior officials who kicked off the vaccine trials, dubbed 4Humanity, on July 16, with the DoH chairman, Abdullah Al Hamed, recorded as the first volunteer.

The vaccine is the first inactivated vaccine in the world to enter Phase III trials. It has been developed by Chinese pharmaceutical giant, Sinopharm China National Biotec Group. During its first two trial phases in China, all participants successfully generated antibodies when two shots of the vaccine were delivered 28 days apart.

In the UAE, the trials are being sponsored by Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing firm, G42, and they are being overseen by the DoH and the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention. Abu Dhabi’s public health provider, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), is carrying out the medical aspects of the trial.

Double-blinded study

Dr Al Kaabi said the trial volunteers received one of three types of vaccine shots – Strain 1, Strain 2 or a placebo.

As a double-blinded study, neither the researcher nor the doctor will know what treatment was administered to a particular patient. This type of research is carried out to eliminate any potential baises the researcher or volunteer may have.

“Statistical analysis will now be carried out to see any correlations between the shots and any impact they have had. It depends on the [vaccine] developer, but the aim is typically to achieve a four-fold increase in immunity from the baseline,” Dr Al Kaabi said.

More than 15,000 volunteers have already signed up for the trials in the UAE.