Airport staff in Sharjah have been vaccinated against coronavirus in a campaign to protect the most vulnerable government workers against the virus.
The vaccine was developed by Chinese drug manufacturer Sinopharm and was approved for use in the UAE this month.
Phase 3 trials in the UAE – which are continuing – involved 31,000 volunteers, with few minor side effects such as a sore throat reported.
Officials reported the vaccine would be used by frontline workers most at risk from new infections, including airport employee.
“Our frontline staff members are in direct contact with travellers, especially as Sharjah Airport is the main gateway to the emirate and receives people from all over the world,” said Ali Al Midfa, chairman of Sharjah International Airport.
“We fully recognise our responsibility to ensure the health and safety of everyone and we’ll continue to adopt all precautionary measures that guarantee public health and safety.”
On Tuesday, the UAE reported 995 new cases of coronavirus, while 1,076 people had recovered.
Another three deaths were confirmed.
In the 10 months since the virus was first reported in China, 33 million cases have been diagnosed worldwide.
Ministers in Sharjah said the vaccine had been delivered to workers under federal guidelines.
“The move comes as part of Ministry of Health and Prevention’s efforts to safeguard the health and safety of frontline workers,” said Mohammed Al Zarouni, director of Sharjah Medical District.
“We have identified the target groups, the dose and the immunisation system.
“The vaccination is now provided in accordance with evidence-based scientific rules, quality control procedures and internationally approved protocols.”
Officials said those who were given the vaccine will be constantly monitored.