Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed takes trial vaccine for Covid-19

The Minister of Foreign Affairs tweeted a photo of himself being vaccinated

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Wam
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Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed appears to have taken a trial vaccine for Covid-19.

The Foreign Minister tweeted a photo of himself on Friday giving the thumbs up while getting vaccinated, with the words, “A Corona vaccination is our way to return to a normal life.”

More than 31,000 volunteers in the UAE have taken part in clinical Phase 3 vaccine trials for a Chinese vaccine affiliated with state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).

A study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases on Thursday found the vaccine was safe during Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials and produced antibodies in both participants up to the age of 80.

The study was not designed to assess how effective it is at preventing infection with SARS-CoV-2 so it was not possible to say whether enough antibodies were produced to ensure immunity.

The UAE's health minister, Abdulrahman Al Owais, was given the first dose of the vaccine last month. It was initially announced that it would be given to frontline health workers in emergency cases.

"By presenting this vaccine, we seek to provide all safety means for the heroes of the first line of defence,” said Mr Al Owais.

“We want to protect them from any dangers that they may face due to the nature of their work.”

The director general of the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, Obaid Al Shamsi, has also taken the vaccine.

"In alignment with the leadership's vision, the availability of this safe, effective vaccine will contribute to save and protect lives,'' said Mr Al Shamsi.

Other senior Abu Dhabi officials have taken the vaccine, including Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed, the chair of the emirate's executive office.