The UAE’s health ministry has approved the emergency use of a new and highly effective Covid-19 treatment. In doing so, the UAE has become the first country in the world to both, license, and enable immediate patient use after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave it emergency use authorization.
The treatment, named Sotrovimab (Vir-7831), is healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline’s investigational single-dose monoclonal antibody. It can be administered to patients aged over 12 with mild to moderate Covid-19 and are at risk of severe illness. According to the health ministry, Sotrovimab offers the prospect of reducing hospitalization for more than 24 hours and fatalities by as much as 85% when administered to patients as an early treatment.
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) May 26, 2021
“The new medicine will greatly contribute to speeding up the recovery of patients, reducing Covid-19-related deaths and hospitalization period in intensive care units,” said Dr Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, minister of health and prevention. “It will also support the country’s efforts being made to conduct Covid-19 tests and administer vaccines, retaining its leading position among the world’s foremost countries, dealing efficiently with the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“This achievement is yet another breakthrough that crowns the painstaking efforts made by our wise leadership, which spares no effort to harness all capabilities and resources to protect the health of UAE people and safeguard the country’s gains achieved over the course of the past years at all levels,” Al Owais added.
As part of UAE’s ongoing efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19, authorities have also made a booster dose of the Sinopharm vaccine available to those who have taken its first and second dose not more than six months ago. In Abu Dhabi, which until now only offered the Sinopharm vaccine, the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine will also be made available on a walk-in basis. On May 13, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) also approved the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 to 15.