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UAE's Covid-19 vaccine trial goes international as centre opens in Bahrain

Staff Report/Abu Dhabi
Filed on August 11, 2020
uae, covid-19, vaccine, coronavirus, china, bahrain

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The new centre in Bahrain is open to individual volunteers aged between 18 and 60.

The UAE's ongoing Covid-19 vaccine trials have been extended to Bahrain, with the first volunteers receiving the shot at a new centre set up in the Kingdom, the Abu Dhabi-based G42 Healthcare announced on Tuesday.

Up to 6,000 volunteers are being sought for the trial at the Bahrain centre - the third to be opened following the recent launch of the walk-in facilities at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Al Qarain Health Centre in Sharjah.

Called 4Humanity, the programme run by G42 Healthcare is the world's first phase 3 clinical trial of an inactivated vaccine developed by China's pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm CNBG. It officially started in the UAE on July 16, targeting to reach up to 15,000 volunteers.

"It was always part of our original plan to open several centres to ensure the broadest impact and opportunity for individuals to participate and join the 4Humanity campaign," said Ashish Koshy, CEO of G42 Healthcare.

"There has been a hugely enthusiastic response from the Ministry of Health and other public health bodies in Bahrain to work with us on the trials and to encourage their communities to volunteer in the trials."

The new centre in Bahrain is open to individual volunteers aged between 18 and 60. The process will last for six to 12 months, with the volunteers required to be available for follow-ups during this time.

Koshy said expanding the trials to Bahrain would help the team get a bigger number of vaccine volunteers, similar to other international trials being carried out in nations with much larger populations.

"We are also anticipating an expansion of the our centre network in the UAE to be announced shortly," he added.

The third phase is the final stage in the vaccine clinical trial process. During the first two stages carried out in China, this particular vaccine showed promising results, with 100 per cent of volunteers developing antibodies to the Covid-19 virus after two doses in 28 days.

The trials that began in Abu Dhabi are being managed by G4 Healthcare in partnership with the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, the UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention and Abu Dhabi Health Services Company.

They are being conducted following the international guidelines stipulated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United States Food and Drug Administration
 


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