Abu Dhabi: The UAE has already begun manufacturing Hayat-Vax, the locally-produced inactivated COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinopharm China National Biotec Group.
The vaccine is being produced at a facility owned by Ras Al Khaimah-based pharmaceutical firm, Julphar, following the launch of a joint venture — Life Sciences and Vaccine Manufacturing in the UAE — between Sinopharm and Abu Dhabi’s G42.
Sinopharm is one of the largest pharmaceutical firms in the world, whereas G42, a technology company, facilitated the Phase III trials of the Sinopharm vaccine in the Gulf.
On Sunday, the UAE-China joint venture was launched by Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Wang Yi, Chinese Foreign Minister.
Initial vaccine production capacity for Hayat-Vax stands at two million doses per month. Later this year, a new life sciences research, development and production facility will be opened at KIZAD free zone in Abu Dhabi, with a capacity to produce 200 million vaccine doses every year.
“This joint venture is [another of] UAE’s contributions towards global efforts that address the COVID-19 pandemic. The UAE, with the guidance of its wise leadership, believes in the importance of strengthening collective international action,” Sheikh Abdullah said.
G42 and Sinopharm clarified in a statement Hayat-Vax is the same Sinopharm BiBP inactivated vaccine that was officially registered by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) on December 9, 2020, and subsequently registered in China by the Chinese Center for Drug Evaluation (CDE).
Hayat-Vax is the first COVID-19 vaccine to be produced in the Arab world.
About two weeks ago, the UAE announced that it had already vaccinated more than half its eligible adult population against COVID-19. According to the latest statistic released by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, more than eight million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far.
The production of COVID-19 vaccines in the UAE will further aid the country’s efforts to advance the global fight against COVID-19. In addition to a comprehensive national vaccination programme, the UAE has also launched the Hope Consortium, a public-private partnership that aims to enhance vaccine delivery and access across the world. Led by Abu Dhabi’s health regulator, the Department of Health (DoH), the Consortium is currently organising a two-day summit that sees international experts discuss the current challenges and solutions in vaccine production and delivery.