Covid-19: UAE approves Moderna vaccine for emergency use

Dubai - The decision was made following the completion of clinical trials.


Saman Haziq

Published: Mon 5 Jul 2021, 3:02 AM

The UAE marked yet another milestone moment in its fight against Covid-19 on Sunday by announcing the emergency registration of its fifth Covid-19 vaccine — Moderna.

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This comes as the country also overtook Seychelles to become the world’s most vaccinated nation, according to vaccine tracker data from Bloomberg.

The UAE has administered 15.5 million doses to date, indicating that 72.1 per cent of its population has received both doses of the available Covid vaccines – Sinopharm, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sputnik.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) on Sunday announced that the approval of the emergency registration of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine came after conducting clinical trials that showed that the vaccine is “safe and effective”, and triggers an immune response, in addition to producing Covid-19 antibodies.

In a statement, MoHap said: “The decision was made following the completion of clinical trials and a strict assessment conducted to approve the local emergency use of the vaccine, as well as the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, the Assistant Undersecretary of the Health Regulatory Sector, said the decision was taken after Moderna submitted documents that showed its compliance with the country's procedures and regulations and conformed to global standards for the use of the vaccine. A review of studies on vaccine safety was made based on the FDA approval, he said.

The registration of Moderna vaccine will enable the UAE to import the vaccine, which is said to have an efficacy rate of 94 per cent. The vaccine will be distributed by UAE-based distributor Magenta Investments.

“As the world continues to endure the drastic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we feel privileged to be taking part in the global effort to enhance the protection of humanity by making available this highly advanced vaccine in the United Arab Emirates,” said Dr Zahid Al Sabti, managing director of Magenta Investments.

"Magenta is fully committed to supporting the efforts of the government of the United Arab Emirates in its monumental efforts to contain the pandemic," he added.

Corinne Le Goff, chief commercial officer of Moderna, said: “We welcome the opportunity to work alongside Magenta for the distribution of our vaccine in the UAE… Together with our partners, we hope to advance our goal to expand access to our vaccine globally, and support governments, as with the UAE, in protecting their citizens, residents, and visitors against the pandemic.”

Lauding the move as an effective response to the pandemic, Mohamed Salim Al-Olama, Undersecretary of Mohap, said: “The move clearly reflects the UAE's strategy that gives priority to the health and safety of its people. Attracting and providing effective and efficient vaccines is part of the UAE's commitment to promoting the effective response to the pandemic."

He added that such a step is a crucial one to prevent the virus from spreading and will accelerate the pace of recovery and community immunisation.

The Moderna vaccine, codenamed mRNA-1273, uses mRNA technology to build antibodies against Covid-19. It received authorisation from the Food and Drug Administration in the US on December 18, 2020.

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