Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed launches first Covid-19 vaccine production line in UAE

Milestone announcement was made alongside China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi

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Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi launched the first Covid-19 vaccine production line in the UAE on Sunday.

The joint project, called 'Life Sciences and Vaccine Manufacturing in the UAE', will be led by Group 42 in partnership with Chinese drug maker Sinopharm.

The ceremony in Abu Dhabi was attended by Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation, and Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State.

"The UAE and China today inaugurated a new chapter in their historic and distinguished relations, under the title 'Strategic Partnership for Humanity'," Sheikh Abdullah said.

"Today we celebrate the significant milestones achieved by our strategic partnership across all levels. We are continuing the efforts that we initiated at the onset of the Covid-19 crisis.

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Inside Sinopharm's vaccine factory - in pictures

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"A partnership that sets an example to be emulated for collaboration between friendly nations in times of crises.

"The joint project is an added value to the international efforts being made in the face of the Covid-19 crisis which has been taking a toll on everyday lives across the world."

Addressing the ceremony Liu Jingzhen, chairman of Sinopharm, said the UAE and China were supporting global efforts to overcome the pandemic.

"Today we are making large strides in the global battle against Covid-19," Mr Liu said.

"And this pioneering project is the fruit of close co-operation and strategic partnership between the UAE and China and their leading efforts in fighting this crisis.

"By taking this step, the UAE has paved the way for the registration and commercial production of Sinopharm’s vaccine in an embodiment of the significant efforts made by the two friendly nations to recover from the crisis.

"We are very proud of this partnership with G42. This project will play a significant role in confronting the Covid-19 pandemic in the UAE, the Arab region and the entire world."

Peng Xiao, chief executive of G42, which oversaw Phase 3 trials of the Sinopharm vaccine in the UAE, said the initiative would "revolutionise the life sciences industry in the region over the coming years".

"G42 and CNBG [Sinopharm] have made significant achievements since 2020 thanks to their common vision and values," Mr Peng said.

Sheikh Abdullah and Mr Wang then announced the official launch of the project, which is the first Covid-19 vaccine production line in the UAE.

The two ministers carried a prototype of the new vaccine and took a commemorative photo before attending a live-streaming session from the vaccine production site.

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