Picture for illustrative purposes - Vaccine trial Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: Within the first 24 hours, the UAE saw 5,000 volunteers from Abu Dhabi and Al Ain registering for Phase III inactivated vaccine trials.

The country’s health authorities – the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DoH) – are now coordinating to open registration for the trials from across the UAE.

“MoHAP and the DoH are coordinating to open registration for nationals and residents across the UAE who wish to volunteer for Phase III clinical trials of the inactivated vaccine, and to specify locations for receiving volunteers. More details to be published soon,” the Abu Dhabi Media Office announced today (July 19).

Once finalised, volunteers can register on the dedicated website: 4humanity.ae.

Approved volunteers will participate to test the safety and efficacy of a vaccine developed by Sinopharm Chinese National Biotec Group, a Chine state-owned firm that is the sixth largest vaccine manufacturer in the world. The trials are being undertaken in the UAE in coordination with Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing firm, G42, under the supervision of the MoHAP and DoH.

In Abu Dhabi, the trials are being facilitated at five public health facilities run by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha). These Abu Dhabi tests are the first stage of the trials in the UAE.

During the official launch of the trials last Thursday (July 16), officials said participation is open to residents between the ages of 18 and 60 years who have not yet contracted COVID-19. They must also meet other criteria, such as not having received blood products or live vaccines recently.

The trials are expected to last for a total of three to six months, with each individual being actively assessed for 42 days. In total, the project aims to test the vaccine, which has proved safe and effective in its first two phases of clinical trials, on 15,000 people in the UAE.

“The third clinical phase is the final one before approving the manufacturing of this vaccine. The UAE has always been a leading country in these efforts to help the world overcome this pandemic. We hope this vaccine will be available for the whole world, and in the near future from here – the UAE. I call upon everyone to be part of this historic moment, and to step forward to be among the first people to receive this vaccine. Hopefully, with the determination of the Emirati people and Zayed’s son, the whole world will soon be able to return to normal life,” said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Hamed, chairman at the DoH.

Al Hamed was the first to receive the vaccine, followed by Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, DoH acting undersecretary.