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Coronavirus Pandemic

Now with 31,000 volunteers, Covid-19 vaccine trials closed for new registrations

Wam/Abu Dhabi
Filed on September 1, 2020 | Last updated on September 1, 2020 at 06.26 am
31,000 volunteers, Covid-19, vaccine trials, closed, new registrations

(Photo by Ryan Lim/Khaleej Times)

Health authorities have confirmed that they have reached a sufficient number of volunteers to complete the trial, so new registrations are no longer accepted.

In just six weeks, 31,000 have volunteered for the UAE's Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials, making it among the largest in the world in terms of volunteer recruitment.

Health authorities have confirmed that they have reached a sufficient number of volunteers to complete the trial, so new registrations are no longer accepted.

Vaccine centres at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Al Qarain Centre in Sharjah are now closed to new volunteers. However, they remain open to individuals taking their second shot and for other health check-ups required as part of the 4Humanity programme.

Thousands of volunteers have already received their second dose of the vaccine and will continue to undergo regular monitoring and health checks.

Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, chairman of the Department of Health Abu Dhabi (DoH) - and the first volunteer who received the vaccine in July - 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."

Al Hamed thanked all the volunteers of more than 120 nationalities for stepping forward for the greater good of humanity. He also praised the medical staff of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) who have been working hard to help run the operations.The speed and efficiency of volunteer registration, screening and vaccination is setting new global benchmarks.

The 4Humanity programme is being managed by the Abu-Dhabi based G42 Healthcare, in partnership with the DoH, the Ministry of Health and Prevention, and Seha. Besides the UAE, the trials are now being conducted in Bahrain and Jordan.

Once all volunteer numbers are in, the trial is expected to be at par with global standards for such programmes, which typically has at least 45,000 volunteers.

Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, said: "Everyone involved in the trials, from the volunteers to the clinical and administrative staff, can be enormously proud of what has been achieved, showing once again the sense of unity and shared purpose that has driven the nation for the past five decades."

The vaccine being trialled in the UAE is the first inactivated Covid-19 vaccine that entered the third and last phase of trials.

Developed by pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm CNBG, the vaccine had successfully passed the first and second stages, which were conducted in China. During these phases, no side effects were detected and 100 per cent of volunteers generated antibodies.

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