Coronavirus Pandemic

US envoy visits Covid-19 vaccine trial centre in Abu Dhabi

Wam/Abu Dhabi
Filed on October 24, 2020
Wam photo

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company shared the latest updates on the clinical trial with the US delegation.

abu dhabi — Officials of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) recently met John Rakolta Jr, US Ambassador to the UAE, to share the latest developments on the success of Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials in the country.

Rakolta, along with Alison Dilworth, economic counsellor; and Susan Holmes, economic associate, were briefed on how the country is carrying out the trials that have so far demonstrated the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.

The US delegation also toured the Capital’s specialised hub for the trials at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre (Adnec), as guided by the Seha team led by Dr Marwan Al Kaabi, acting group chief operations officer of Seha, and Dr Nawal Ahmed Mohamed Al Kaabi, chief medical officer of Sheikh Khalifa Medical City and chairperson of the National Covid-19 Clinical Management Committee.

Dr Al Kaabi said: "We are proud of the progress of the trials, and the UAE’s role in providing a vaccine to combat the novel coronavirus. We are honoured to share this progress with John Rakolta Jr, the US Ambassador to the UAE.

"The success of the trials has resulted in the delivery of the first dose to frontline healthcare professionals in the UAE, achieving yet another milestone for the history books and setting a new benchmark in the world’s response to the virus."

Developed by China’s Sinopharm CNBG and Abu Dhabi’s G42 Healthcare, the Phase 3 clinical trial for the inactivated Covid-19 vaccine is a collaboration between the Department of Health–Abu Dhabi and Seha.

It was rolled out in Abu Dhabi on July 16, and since then, it has been expanded to Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt. Over 31,000 volunteers from across the UAE have taken part in the programme called 4Humanity. Throughout the process, the jab has been found safe, and the side effects reported so far have been "mild and expected, like any other vaccine", health authorities said in previous statements.

In September, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) announced the approval for its use for frontline workers and professionals who are at highest risk of contracting the virus. Along with the frontline heroes in the country, a number of senior officials in the country have also taken the vaccine.

"We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the community of the nation for their support in responding to the calls of the UAE government, volunteering, and their dedication in advancing the third phase of the clinical trials, as part of the 4Humanity campaign," Dr Al Kaabi said.

"They have been pivotal in accomplishing these outcomes and achieving tremendous successes in the world’s first clinical trials of the COVID-19 inactivated vaccine," she continued.

The clinical trials are part of a global effort to combat Covid-19 and were overseen by the World Health Organisation and the UAE’s Mohap. Abu Dhabi, which is the key host of the clinical trials, is aligned with the UAE government’s prominent role in international efforts to find a solution to this century’s greatest health challenge.

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