Sun 30-08-2020 23:56 PM
ABU DHABI, 30th August 2020 (WAM) - The first Phase III trials of an inactivated vaccine for COVID-19 in the United Arab Emirates are among the largest in the world in volunteer recruitment having reached 31,000 vaccinated volunteers from more than 120 nationalities in only six weeks.
The speed and efficiency of volunteer registration, screening and vaccination is setting new global benchmarks for the 4Humanity trials of the inactivated vaccine developed by Sinopharm CNBG, a world leading vaccine manufacturer. The trials are being managed by Abu-Dhabi based G42 Healthcare in partnership with the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP) and Abu Dhabi Health Services Company.
As the trials move forward thousands of volunteers have already received their second shot of the vaccine and will continue to undergo regular monitoring and health checks, with full ongoing support provided by the health services to ensure their wellbeing.
Reaching this volunteer milestone means that the vaccine centres at ADNEC and Al Qarain Center in Sharjah are now closed to new volunteers but remain open for individuals taking their second shot of the vaccine and for other health check-ups required as part of the programme per the approved protocols and timelines set for individual volunteers who are participating.
The Department of Health, Abu Dhabi has confirmed that there are now sufficient numbers of volunteers required to complete the clinical trial so no new registrations will be accepted effective from Sunday 30 August.
Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of DoH, said: "This achievement would not have been possible without the support of our wise leadership and its continuous support of scientific research in the healthcare sector. This indeed is an accomplishment in the field of healthcare and will place our country at the forefront of global research efforts to confront this pandemic."
On behalf of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, His Excellency extended his gratitude to the volunteers who were so enthusiastic to participate in the clinical trials for the greater good of humanity and for serving the nation and wider society. He also praised the efforts of the medical staff of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company "SEHA" during the past period and their tireless work to achieve this goal.
The DoH said that it will continue to follow up on all volunteers according to approved protocols for this study through follow-up calls or through direct interviews by the medical team In celebration of this national achievement, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, Sinopharm and G42 Healthcare have extended their gratitude to all volunteers for their service for humanity and the work of the clinical and administrative and technical staff. Thanks to their commitment and participation in these historic trials, the world continues to take a major step towards developing the first tested, safe vaccine.
Commenting on the achievement of securing over 31,000 volunteers, Minister of Health and Prevention, Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, said: "From the very outset the UAE leadership was totally committed to overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic through a global collaborative effort. The public-spirited nature of citizens and residents and their willingness to volunteer is a powerful endorsement of the proactive approach the UAE has taken in what is a world-leading inactivated vaccine trials programme.
"Everyone involved in the trials from the volunteers to the clinical and administrative staff can be enormously proud of what has been achieved already showing once again the sense of unity and shared purpose that has driven the nation for the past five decades."
The two inactivated vaccines were successful during both Phase 1 and Phase II of the trials without causing any side effects with 100 percent of the volunteers for these phases generating antibodies.
The eventual size and scale of the volunteer numbers will place the trial at par with globally acknowledged trial numbers for programmes of this kind that are typically around 45,000 or above.
The trial is part of a series of national initiatives to both foster population health and to enhance the UAE's medical research and development capabilities, including the local capacity to manufacture the vaccine.