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Covid vaccine UAE: Sinopharm jab offers immunity for 9 months, says expert

Abu Dhabi - Experts studying the data from clinical trials say volunteers who had taken the jab continue to be immune.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Fri 15 Jan 2021, 3:43 PM

Last updated: Fri 15 Jan 2021, 3:44 PM

The Chinese Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 can offer immunity for nine months, a top expert said after assessing the data collected so far from the clinical trials of the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Last year, Abu Dhabi-based G42 Healthcare and Sinopharm CNBG successfully conducted the world’s first Phase 3 clinical trials in the UAE. The Phase 1 and 2 trials done by Sinopharm in China saw 100 per cent of volunteers generate antibodies after two doses in 28 days.

Dr Walid Zaher, chief research officer and vaccine project leader of G42 Healthcare, said data from the trials and further follow-ups hold the key in determining how long the immunity lasts.

Also read: Kids 'likely' to get Sinopharm jab if ongoing trials prove safe

“The development of all the vaccines had happened less than nine months ago. Everyone who has claimed that immunity will last for years is making a theoretical claim. In reality, it’s all about data. And data is available from the start of the Phase 1 Clinical Trial; this is the earliest patient that you have given the vaccine to… the real data. Almost all the manufacturers have started in the second quarter of last year. So, all the data available, realistically, are from the clinical trials.

“At Sinopharm, data shows that immunity can last for up to nine months and one year, so far. But we have to follow up on people in order to understand how long the immunity will last.”

On a promising note, Dr Zaher added: “Immunity is lasting for as long as we have followed the patient.”

Clinical trial volunteers must not take the jab

Dr Nawal Al Kaabi, chairperson of the National Covid-19 Clinical Management Committee, underlined that volunteers of the Phase 3 clinical trial must not take the vaccine offered as part of the UAE's national vaccination campaign.

“We are constantly following up with and monitoring the health of our volunteers through continuous remote consultations and testing as part of the ongoing study. Those who selflessly volunteered for the trial have the option to opt out at a time of their choosing, following which they can take another vaccine. If they continue to be part of the trial, they shouldn’t take another vaccine,” said Dr Nawal, who is also the Principal Investigator of Phase III Clinical Trial.

The duration of a volunteer’s involvement in the Phase 3 clinical study is 12 months. It was in July last year that the world’s first Phase 3 clinical trial of the inactivated coronavirus vaccine commenced in the UAE.


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