UAE approves Russia's Sputnik vaccine for emergency use


Dubai - The researchers developed their vaccine from adenoviruses, a kind of virus that causes colds.

By Saman Haziq

Published: Thu 21 Jan 2021, 2:18 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 Jan 2021, 11:06 PM

In the wake of the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, the UAE has approved Russia’s Sputnik V for emergency use. The newest addition makes it the third such vaccine to be approved for use in the UAE after Sinophrm and Pfizer.

Sputnik V developed by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology is a human adenovirus-based vaccine.

In a tweet on Thursday, the National Emergencies, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), said the approval was granted as part of the UAE’s comprehensive efforts to ensure the safety of residents.

“UAE approves Russia’s Sputnik vaccine for emergency use as part of its comprehensive and integrated efforts to ensure increased prevention levels against the virus, and to safeguard the health of the country’s citizens and residents,” the NCEMA said.

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The Sputnik vaccine, said to be 91.4 per cent effective at protecting people from Covid-19 based on interim results, underwent Phase III trials in the UAE. The trials were
 open to 500 volunteers where the participants received two doses of the vaccine, administered 20 days apart, at a hospital in Abu Dhabi. The researchers developed their vaccine from adenoviruses, a kind of virus that causes colds.

Expressing his optimism about the new vaccine, Dr Abey Abraham, Internal Medicine Specialist, Aster Clinic — King Faisal, Sharjah, said: “The Sputnik vaccine is the world’s first registered vaccine based on human adenoviral-based platform with a 91.4 per cent efficacy. Thus its administration should boost our chances of recovering in every sphere of life — medically and socially. The social distancing protocols are still to be strictly followed because until a large proportion of the public is vaccinated we cannot let down our guard. Let us stand together.”

Talking about the mechanism of the newest addition to the Covid vaccine in the UAE, Dr Adel Al-Sisi, Chief Medical Officer at Prime Hospital, said: “The Sputnik vaccine is based on a very well studied technology called human adenoviral platform where scientists insert this genetically engineered virus into our body cells in the form of vaccine to trick the body into thinking that it has been infected. This inserted element is safe for the body but still helps the immune system to react and produce antibodies, which protect us from the infection.”

About Sputnik vaccine

Sputnik V is a two dose vaccine. The lyophilized (dry) form of the vaccine can be stored at a temperature of +2 to +8 degrees Celsius. The vaccine is named after the first Soviet space satellite. The launch of Sputnik-1 in 1957 reinvigorated space research around the world, creating a so called ‘Sputnik moment’ for the global community.

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