Covid vaccine trials
The phase III clinical trials of the inactivated vaccine for Covid-19 are currently on in the UAE. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi: Teachers at Abu Dhabi’s public schools have been allowed to opt for the COVID-19 vaccines that are being offered in the UAE under emergency approval to frontline workers.

Teaching staff, administrative staff and their families must register before September 24 if they would like to receive their vaccine, a senior government official confirmed to Gulf News.

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A circular has already been distributed to public school heads, stating that teachers, academic staff and their adult first-degree relatives have been categorised as priority groups for receiving the vaccine. They may register on a voluntary basis. On September 15, the UAE granted regulatory approval for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical giant, Sinopharm China National Biotec Group. The vaccine is currently undergoing Phase III trials in the country, as well as in Jordan, Bahrain and Egypt.

Vaccine safe

The vaccine has reportedly generated antibodies in volunteers during the first two trial phases in China. The volunteers received two doses about three weeks apart. Preliminary announcements about the Phase III trials in the UAE indicate that the vaccine is effective, and has not generated any major side effects, even in 1,000 people with chronic conditions. Before the UAE’s regulatory approval, 31,000 people in the country had volunteered for the vaccine trials.

Vaccine trials
The vaccine trials in the UAE are being led by G42 Healthcare, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-based technology firm, Group 42, and overseen by the DoH and the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention. The medical portion of the trials are being conducted by the emirate’s public health provider, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha).

Officials receive vaccines

Two top officials at the Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DoH) — Abdullah Al Hamed, DoH chairman, and Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, DoH acting undersecretary — were the first two people to receive the vaccine in the UAE on July 16. They have already completed the 42-day trial period. On Saturday, after emergency approval was granted, UAE Minister of Health, Abdulrahman Al Owais, also received his first dose. Other officials have also received the vaccine this week.