The UAE has launched its first vaccine production line in partnership with China. The announcement was made on Sunday when Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi sealed a major vaccine deal. The joint project called Life Sciences and Vaccine Manufacturing in the UAE, will be led by Abu Dhabi’s Group 42 in partnership with Chinese drugmaker Sinopharm.
Doses of the vaccine have already begun rolling off a production line at pharmaceutical manufacturer Julphar’s plant in Ras Al Khaimah. The Emirati drugmaker has started producing the Sinopharm vaccine, and it has been given a new name. Called Hayat-Vax (Hayat meaning ‘life’ in Arabic), the vaccine’s production could hit two million doses per month. The vaccine is the same as Sinopharm’s CNBG’s BiBP inactivated vaccine that was first registered by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on December 9, 2020.
At the launch of the production life, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed said, “Life sciences and vaccine manufacturing in our country is UAE’s contribution towards global efforts to address the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected the whole world.” He added: “The joint project is an added value to the international efforts being made in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, which has been taking a toll on everyday lives across the world.”
As a result of the UAE’s ongoing efforts in combatting the spread of Covid-19, at least 52% of the population has now been vaccinated. Although the government has approved vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Russia’s Sputnik V, most UAE residents have received the Sinopharm vaccine.