Hayat-Vax: UAE to ensure equitable jab distribution

Dubai - The local manufacturing of the Sinopharm under the name Hayat-Vax will be a gamechanger in the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines globally.

By Team KT

Published: Mon 29 Mar 2021, 11:32 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Mar 2021, 6:59 AM

The UAE on Sunday announced the production of Covid-19 vaccine locally after striking a deal with China. The announcement came close on the heels of the Chinese foreign minister’s visit to the Emirates last week. The local manufacturing of the Chinese Sinopharm under the name Hayat-Vax will be a gamechanger in the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines globally. As the name Hayat, meaning life in Arabic, signifies, the vaccine will be a life saver for millions. But developing a vaccine is only the first step in the fight against coronavirus. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, made a key point when he spelled out the country’s vision that Covid vaccine should be available to all without discrimination: When the virus does not discriminate why should its cure?

With only five per cent of the global population vaccinated so far, one of the toughest questions facing world countries is how to make vaccines available for all. When the richer and affluent countries take the lion’s share of the Covid jab, how do we make sure that the poorer countries are not left behind in the vaccine race? That is where UAE steps in with its global vision to bridge the gap between the vaccine haves and have nots. It is a multi-pronged approach, which is more than just dose sharing by those who have excess doses. The production of Covid shots in the UAE has already started. Abu Dhabi’s Group 42 said a dedicated facility would soon be built in the capital’s Kizad freezone. Built in partnership with the Ras Al Khaimah-based pharmaceutical company, Julphar, the new facility will lift the national capacity to up to two million doses a month. The UAE is already positioned as a global logistics hub with a capacity to store and distribute vaccines to countries that are otherwise not easily reachable. The Hope Consortium set up by Abu Dhabi is aiming to distribute billions of Covid vaccine.

The UAE’s capital city can reach out to 3.5 billion people globally within five hours and offers a “unique proposition” to the world by storing and distributing Covid-19 vaccines, officials from the Hope Consortium said at the Global Immunisation Summit held in Abu Dhabi on Monday. The Hope Consortium is building a throughput capacity of 18 billion vaccine doses by setting up one of the world’s largest manufacturing units and cold chain supply management systems that is based on policies of global cooperation. Aided by the national airline Etihad Airways that has connectivity to 170 countries and the capacity of Abu Dhabi Ports that can store more than 120 million Covid-19 vaccines, it is an easily achievable task. If there are practical hurdles and challenges, the UAE is committed to overcoming it with its political will, humanitarian values and egalitarian world view.

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