A new vaccine from Chinese manufacturer Sinopharm CNBG has been approved for emergency use in the UAE.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention announced on Monday that a study had been carried out on the new “recombinant protein-based vaccine” in the UAE, and that it would be used as a booster for those who had previously received two doses of the inactive Sinopharm vaccine.
Recombinant protein vaccines target the spike protein that the virus uses to enter human cells.
The study showed improved immunity against the virus and was effective against variants.
The vaccine will be available to the public as a booster dose starting in January 2022 in further attempts to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The ministry also announced the new vaccine will be manufactured and distributed by Hayat Biotech, a joint venture between Sinopharm and G42.
Hayat-Vax is the locally-produced version of the inactive Sinopharm vaccine also made at the Hayat Biotech plant and is a key part of the UAE's strategy to support inoculation drives both at home and abroad.
Sinopharm's new booster shot is similar to Hayat-Vax in that it can be kept at normal fridge temperatures, making it easier to use in low-income countries than mRNA vaccines, which need ultra-cold storage.
One person died, taking the death toll to 2,159.
Another 608 people recuperated from the virus, raising the number of recoveries to 741,933.
The latest cases were identified as a result of the administration of an additional 325,097 PCR tests.
Daily case numbers have risen sharply this month, from less than 50 in early December.
But authorities have ramped up testing and introduced new rules to protect public health.