1,000 people get two doses of Russian COVID-19 vaccine in the UAE

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Abu Dhabi Covid-19 scanners for entry: How they work
Abu Dhabi Covid-19 scanners for entry: How they work

Abu Dhabi: A total of a 1,000 volunteers have received both doses of a Russian human adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine as part of trials in the UAE.

The inoculation phase for the trials has been completed, and the trial has now moved into the scientific data collection phase, the Abu Dhabi Media Office announced on Thursday. The findings of the trial will be combined with existing global research findings, with interim results to be released by April 2021.

The adenovirus-based vaccine has reportedly shown a 91.6 per cent efficacy rate against COVID-19.

This is the second COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UAE. The first trial was carried out last year for the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese researchers. Following proof of efficacy against COVID-19, the Sinopharm vaccine is now being widely delivered to residents across the country as part of the National Vaccination Programme.

As part of the Russian vaccine trials, volunteers’ immune response will be monitored over 180 days.

Recent interim results from Phase III clinical trials of the Russian human adenovirus-based vaccine, as reported in leading international medical journal The Lancet, showed high efficacy of 91.6 per cent, as well as strong immunogenicity and safety results. Two earlier phases of the vaccine clinical trials, which were published in renowned medical journal, The Lancet, has also reported stable humoral and cellular immune response among volunteers.

UAE trials

The UAE clinical trial is part of the Vaccine for Victory (V4V) campaign, the UAE’s chapter of the global vaccination trial of the Russian human adenovirus-based vaccine. The vaccine has been developed by Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, a public research institute in Russia, and facilitated in partnership with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). Abu Dhabi-based Aurugulf Health Investment and Pure Health will be the official marketing and distribution partners.

Dr Ahmed Al Hammadi, the trial’s principal investigator and consultant physician for infectious diseases in the UAE, said “moving onto this next monitoring phase should be celebrated as an achievement for the UAE’s medical community”.

“It is an important precursor to studying the immune response in a diverse range of volunteers, paving the way for further securing the safety of our citizens and residents against Covid-19,” Dr Al Hammadi said.

Promising results

“The clinical trials have shown promising results across the globe. This next stage will add important data, further demonstrating the high efficacy of the vaccine and strengthening the UAE’s global efforts in pioneering scientific discovery,” said Kirill Dmitriev, RDIF chief executive officer.

In the UAE, the Russian vaccine has been tested on healthy adults from multiple nationalities aged 18 years and above. These volunteers are living in the UAE, have had no history of COVID-19 vaccinations or infection, and who have not suffered any communicable or severe respiratory diseases.

UAE registration

In Russia, the vaccine was registered for use in August 2020, and was the first registered COVID-19 vaccine out of 165 being developed across the world. Based on the results of the Russian Phase III clinical trial, which included over 33,000 volunteers, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) authorised the emergency use of the Russian vaccine in the UAE in January.

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