Coronavirus: first vaccine trial centre outside Abu Dhabi opens in Sharjah

The testing facility at the Al Qarain Health Centre in Sharjah has a capacity to manage 500 volunteers per day

Volunteers have been invited to sign up and participate in a UAE clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine at a centre outside Abu Dhabi for the first time.

The testing facility is now open at the Al Qarain Health Centre in Sharjah and has a capacity to manage 500 volunteers per day.

It is open to residents of Sharjah and the neighboring emirates as trials continue to gather pace.

The Sharjah clinic is the second centre to open this week after a new facility was set up at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on August 2 to serve up to 1,000 vaccine volunteers a day.

Both centres will register volunteers for the programme after screening them.

Volunteers can visit the Sharjah centre from 8am until 8pm daily and will be given a shot of an inactive vaccine that contains a killed version of the virus that causes Covid-19.

“Allocating Al Qarain Health Centre as the first centre outside of Abu Dhabi to register, screen and test volunteers is yet another distinct contribution from the UAE,” said Abdulrahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention.

The UAE began the first globally recognised, last-phase clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine in Abu Dhabi on July 16.

This is the final step before a vaccine is approved for use among the public.

The Phase 3 clinical trial is being led by Abu Dhabi's health department in partnership with Group 42 and Chinese drug maker Sinopharm.

Nearly 5,000 people living in the the capital and Al Ain signed up in the first 24 hours, the Department of Health Abu Dhabi said on July 18.

Up to 15,000 volunteers are wanted for the trial and they must be in good health and between the ages of 18 to 60.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, chairman of the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, successfully received his second vaccine shot.

He volunteered as the first patient to test the vaccine last month.

Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, acting undersecretary of the department, who is overseeing the Phase 3 trial, was the second man to sign up for the programme.

Both men have received their second jab as part of the trial, in which volunteers must visit testing centres at least 17 times over roughly 42 days.

Volunteers cannot travel abroad during this time. After the trial, they should be available for regular phone consultations for up to six months.

Volunteers for the Abu Dhabi trial can register at or by calling 02 819 1111.