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Covid-19 in the UAE: How to Volunteer for a World-First Phase III Vaccine Trial

covid-19 vaccine

Photo courtesy of WAM

The world’s first WHO-listed study of Phase III trials of an inactivated vaccine to combat Covid-19 began in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, July 22. This human trial is a partnership between Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence company G42, and the Abu Dhabi Department of Health. A key concern in clinical trials of global relevance like this is to study the effects of the vaccine on multiple ethnicities and races in particular, which is why the participation of the UAE as a home to such a diverse range of nationalities was sought especially, said G42 Healthcare CEO Ashish Koshy.

UAE health authorities have reportedly issued a permit for up to 15,000 volunteers to take part in these unprecedented trials. Here’s all you need to know if you would like to volunteer:

1. The trials are being carried out by trained health practitioners from the Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA).

2. SEHA has reportedly converted five of their sites in Abu Dhabi and neighboring emirate Al Ain into testing facilities, as well as a mobile clinic to ensure ready access of the experimental vaccine to trial volunteers.

3. Sinopharm and G42 will not have access to patient data in the trials which will be conducted in Abu Dhabi state hospitals.

4. The trial will test two vaccine strains and a placebo. Two doses three weeks apart will be administered and volunteers need to follow up for a year.

5. Around 15,000 volunteers from different nationalities between the ages of 18 to 60 years will be recruited initially in Abu Dhabi over the next three to six months.

6. Volunteers should have no serious underlying medical issues and be without previous Covid-19 infection.

7. Each volunteer will be provided with an individual care package to understand the process and potential side effects.

8. Following the successful conclusion of phases I and II, volunteers do not need to quarantine themselves for the duration of the trial.

You can volunteer on or contact the hotline on 02 819 1111 to be a part of this clinical trial.

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