United Arab Emirates (UAE) Health and Prevention Minister Abdul Rahman al-Owais has become the first Emirati to be given the country’s approved Covid-19 vaccine.
The official UAE news agency WAM reported on Saturday he received the dose just days after authorities approved the Chinese vaccine for emergency use for frontline health workers.
According to the news agency, Rahman said, “The UAE aims to provide all safety means for the heroes working on the front lines and to protect them from any dangers they may face battling the coronavirus outbreak.”
The vaccine has been developed by Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopham and is “fully and completely compatible with laws and regulations,” the minister said.
He also said the vaccine is effective and safe and has resulted in a “strong response” by generating antibodies in trial volunteers.
A total of 31,000 volunteers of 125 nationalities participated in clinical trials held in the Gulf country of 10 million, a government official said during the press conference.
Doctor Nawal al-Kaabi said initial results of the ongoing trial are encouraging and only “minor” side effects were detected in volunteers who developed antibodies.
According to Nawal, health authorities have followed all quality control procedures and safety measures to ensure the efficacy of the vaccine.