Video: Children from Abu Dhabi royal family take part in Sinopharm Covid vaccine study

Abu Dhabi - The immune bridge study will monitor immune response in 900 children.

By Sahim Salim

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Published: Wed 16 Jun 2021, 12:27 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Jun 2021, 1:36 PM

The UAE’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine “immune bridge study” for children aged three to 17 years is now underway.

A video tweeted on Wednesday by the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office shows Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, accompanying his children, nieces and nephews as they take part in the study.

The royal children have joined other families in Abu Dhabi in the study.

The video shows Sheikh Theyab and a group of children at the vaccination centre. Also seen are other volunteering children from multiple nationalities.

A doctor explains what the study would involve and hands over an information document.

“It’s a very light vaccination jab. It’s quick and not painful,” a doctor is heard reassuring the kids.

Another doctor explains to a parent: “This will decrease the chances of them getting infected, especially at school.”

Doctors first take parental consent by making them sign the required forms. “We then follow up with the parents every week to see if their children have developed any side effects,” a doctor says.

The process

The kids first take a PCR test. Their blood pressure and heart rate are then checked, after which the vaccine is administered. They have to stay in an observation room for 30 minutes.

Being conducted under the supervision of the UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), the study is a significant next step in combating the pandemic.

“It is monitoring the immune response to the vaccine in 900 children, with full parental consent, in preparation to vaccinate children in the near future,” the Abu Dhabi Media Office tweeted.

Currently, the Sinopharm vaccine is administered to those aged 16 and above. The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is given to children aged 12 and above.


>> Sinopharm Covid vaccine safe for children, teenagers

It will help kids return to schools

The UAE is the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to conduct a study of the vaccine’s effectiveness for the 3-17 years age group.

The study’s preliminary results will be announced once available, and will support the planning process for the safe return to schools.

Other vaccine manufacturing countries, such as China, the United States, United Kingdom and India, have also begun conducting clinical trials for this group over the past few months.

Dr Ahmed Deemas Alsuwaidi, Associate Professor of Paediatrics and Infectious Diseases and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the United Arab Emirates University, had said earlier that children have been safely receiving vaccines for multiple diseases and viruses for generations. “The Sinopharm vaccine is similar in concept to these vaccines.”

Dr Farida Al Hosani, Official Spokesperson for the UAE's health sector, had said in May that vaccination would help children return to school.

"Despite the low number of positive cases among children, vaccination is very important because students are gradually going back to face-to-face (learning in) schools next year. Our message to all parents is to be rest assured that this vaccination will help all of us feel safe and protect the health and wellness of our children," she had said.


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