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UAE registers China's Sinopharm vaccine, says 86% effective
This picture taken on November 23, 2020 shows a bottle reading "Vaccine Covid-19" next to Chinese National Pharmaceutical Sinopharm logo.
AFP/Joel Saget

UAE registers China's Sinopharm vaccine, says 86% effective

(Agence France-Presse) - December 9, 2020 - 5:18pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday officially registered the coronavirus vaccine produced by Chinese drug giant Sinopharm, saying it was 86 percent effective according to analysis of third-phase trials.

The health ministry "has announced the official registration" of the vaccine, state news agency WAM said, without elaborating on how it would now be used. 

The vaccine has been undergoing third-phase trials in the Emirates since July, and it was approved for emergency use for healthcare workers in September.

"The announcement is a significant vote of confidence by the UAE’s health authorities in the safety and efficacy of this vaccine," WAM said.

UAE health officials have reviewed Sinopharm's interim analysis of the third-phase trials which shows it is 86 percent effective against coronavirus, the report said.

"The analysis also shows the vaccine to have 99 percent seroconversion rate of neutralising antibody and 100 percent effectiveness in preventing moderate and severe cases of the disease.

"Furthermore, the analysis shows no serious safety concerns."

China has four vaccine products in the final stages of development, three of which — including Sinopharm — use an inactivated form of the novel coronavirus to boost immunity.

This means they only need to be refrigerated and can be easily distributed compared to jabs developed by rivals Pfizer and BioNTech or Moderna, which have reported efficacy of 95 percent and 94 percent respectively but need to be transported at minus 70 to 20 degrees Celsius. 

However, Chinese drugmakers have not released any data on their vaccines' safety or efficacy.

Chinese vaccine makers also have chequered reputations, after major scandals at home involving expired or poor quality products. While the government's domestic handling of the virus has won support within China, overseas buyers are cautious.

Chinese vaccine frontrunners Sinovac and Sinopharm have pre-orders for less than 500 million doses in total by mid-November, according to data from London consultancy Airfinity, mostly from countries that have participated in trials.

Two vaccines have undergone third-phase trials in the UAE, the Sinopharm project and Russia's Sputnik-V, named after the Soviet-era satellite.

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum said in November that he had received an experimental coronavirus vaccine, joining other top UAE officials to take part in the trials.

COVID-19 VACCINE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 2, 2021 - 7:10pm

Pharma giants Sanofi and GSK said on July 29, 2020, that they have agreed to supply Britain with up to 60 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The agreement covers a vaccine candidate developed by France's Sanofi in partnership with the UK's GSK and is subject to a "final contract."

This thread collects some of the major developments in the search for a vaccine to ease the new coronavirus pandemic. (Main photo by AFP/Joel Saget)

March 2, 2021 - 7:10pm

A shipment of 3.94 million coronavirus jabs arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday, making Africa's most populous nation the world's third country to receive vaccines under Covax, a global scheme to provide free inoculations, an AFP journalist saw. 

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, are the first of 16 million doses that Covax plans to deliver over the coming months to Nigeria, where they will be given first to healthworkers, the government said. — AFP

March 2, 2021 - 6:14pm

The health ministry announces that Iraq received 50,000 Sinopharm vaccines donated by China, launching a long-awaited vaccination campaign.

Health ministry spokesman Seif al-Badr told reporters that the first delivery in the early hours meant inoculations could begin.

"The doses will be delivered to Baghdad's three main hospitals, and maybe to some provinces," says Badr, who confirmed the jabs were donations. — AFP 

March 1, 2021 - 9:12pm

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday became the first recipient of a coronavirus vaccine under the global Covax scheme, as US health workers prepared to distribute nearly four million doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson jab.

Covax, a scheme designed to ensure that poorer countries do not miss out on Covid-19 vaccines that have so far been largely hoovered up by rich nations, is aiming to deliver at least two billion doses by the end of the year.

Akufo-Addo received his AstraZeneca shot live on television along with his wife, a day before the rest of the first batch of 600,000 Covax doses are deployed across Ghana.

"It is important that I set the example that this vaccine is safe by being the first to have it, so that everybody in Ghana can feel comfortable about taking this vaccine," the president said. — AFP

March 1, 2021 - 11:31am

Four million doses of the latest Covid-19 vaccine to get US approval will be delivered across the country as early as Tuesday, a senior administration official said.

The United States on Saturday authorized Johnson & Johnson's Covid vaccine for emergency use, boosting President Joe Biden's plan to battle the outbreak that has killed more than 500,000 Americans.

The single-shot vaccine — the third type to be authorized — is highly effective in preventing severe Covid-19, including against newer variants, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said before giving it a green light. —  AFP

March 1, 2021 - 7:06am

Willingness to get a COVID-19 vaccine is on the rise compared to last year, a survey of six industrialised countries published on Monday shows.

More people in the United Kingdom, the United States and even vaccine-sceptical France now accept the idea of getting a coronavirus jab, KekstCNC, an international consultancy, says in the survey conducted in February.

The survey also covers Germany, Japan and Sweden where a similar trend was clear, it says.

"As vaccine rollouts commence, higher numbers of people in all countries say they would take the vaccine," the study says. —  AFP

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