UAE backs global access to Covid-19 vaccines

The Emirates are at the centre of global efforts to curb the pandemic

The UAE is urging the world to unite to accelerate the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and ensure worldwide immunity.

Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation, said the UAE was committed to helping to achieve this goal.

Speaking at the International Forum on Covid-19 Vaccine Co-operation, she pointed to the vaccine storage and handling facilities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in partnership with Etihad Airways and Emirates airline, covering nearly 3.6 billion people around the world.

The first meeting of the forum, hosted by China, featured representatives from 20 countries and aims to link countries that develop and produce vaccines, state news agency Wam reported on Thursday.

The Hope Consortium, for example, is an Abu Dhabi-led collective of industry partners united in overcoming Covid-19 vaccine distribution challenges.

Ms Al Hashimy said the consortium provided nearly 65 million vaccine doses to 40 countries since its launch in 2020. The UAE also donated $50 million to the Covax initiative to facilitate vaccine transport and delivery to the countries that need it most.

She also referred to the recent collaboration with China to host the first Covid-19 vaccine production project in the UAE, known as Hayat-Vax. Hayat-Vax, the locally produced version of the Sinopharm vaccine, is a key part of the UAE's wide-ranging strategy to support inoculation drives at home and abroad.

The UAE minister also told how the UAE dispatched more than 2,200 tonnes of medical supplies to more than 135 countries, particularly in Africa and Asia.

The UAE is also a global logistical centre in the fight against Covid-19, through the International Humanitarian City in Dubai. This has played an integral role in shipping 80 per cent of total global medical supplies and preventative equipment in response to the pandemic.

The UAE has also helped to establish field hospitals (Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Field Hospitals) in Jordan, Guinea-Conakry, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Lebanon and Mauritania.

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Updated: August 6th 2021, 5:53 PM