Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine has had its emergency registration approved by the UAE.
Dr Amin Hussein Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, said Moderna submitted documents that comply with the country's procedures and regulations.
This enables local health authorities to import the vaccine.
Moderna's vaccine, with a 94 per cent efficacy, is among the most effective at tackling the coronavirus and keeping patients out of hospital. Approval follows a deal between Moderna and a UAE-based distributor, Magenta Investments.
“As the world continues to endure the drastic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we feel privileged to be taking part in the global effort to enhance the protection of humanity by making available this highly advanced vaccine in the United Arab Emirates,” said Dr Zahid Al Sabti, managing director of Magenta Investments.
Corinne Le Goff, chief commercial officer of Moderna, said the move would boost the ongoing fight against the disease.
“Together with our partners, we hope to advance our goal to expand access to our vaccine globally, and support governments, as with the UAE, in protecting their citizens, residents, and visitors against the pandemic.”
This is the fifth coronavirus vaccine to be introduced in the UAE after the green light given to Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca, Sputnik V and the Chinese-made Sinopharm.
Sinopharm and Pfizer are the most widely used doses in the country.
Moderna’s vaccine, similar to the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, uses mRNA technology and contains genetic instructions for the cells to make the coronavirus’ spike protein.
It received authorisation from the Food and Drug Administration in the US on December 18, 2020, about a week after Pfizer got approval.
The vaccine is administered in two doses with a gap of about four weeks. It has an efficacy rate of 94.1 per cent and takes about two weeks for the body to build full immunity after the second dose.
On May 5, Moderna said its new single-shot booster of the vaccine generated immune response against the B.1.351 (beta) and P.1 (gamma) variants first identified in South Africa and Brazil.
The company said its results were based on early data from an ongoing clinical trial.
Participants in the trial received a 50-microgram dose of its vaccine in vaccinated people.
The new booster increased neutralising antibody responses against the original virus and the variants.
The approval of Moderna vaccine supports the national efforts to fight the pandemic and protect the public.
The UAE has provided more than 13.9 million vaccine doses to citizens and residents, and the country aims to vaccinate all eligible adults by the end of 2021.
More than 87 per cent of UAE residents are vaccinated – a proportion that rises to 97.5 per cent for people aged over 60.
Vaccination figures are currently at 141.19 doses per 100 eligible people.