Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid receives Covid-19 vaccine

Dubai Ruler thanked all those working to ensure development of vaccine against virus

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid receives the Sinopharm vaccine to protect against Covid-19, November 3, 2020. Courtesy: Dubai Media Office
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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has received the Covid-19 vaccine, according to a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

He thanked all those working to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus.

"While receiving the Covid-19 vaccine today. We wish everyone safety and great health, and we are proud of our teams who have worked relentlessly to make the vaccine available in the UAE," he said.

"The future will always be better in the UAE."

The Prime Minister was the latest senior figure in the UAE to take China's Sinopharm vaccine.

The country hosted a Phase-3 trial that involved 31,000 volunteers in the Emirates, Bahrain and Jordan.

The jab has since been administered to frontline medical workers, senior officials and some members of the Cabinet, after it received approval from the UAE Government for limited use in September.

At the weekend, Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, president of the UAE Football Association and a member of Ajman's ruling family, also received the vaccine.

Sheikh Rashid said he looked forward to "victory over the virus".

Among the other high profile leaders to receive the vaccine was Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed, chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office.

In other developments on Tuesday, Bahrain granted emergency approval for the use of a Sinopharm vaccine on frontline workers, state news agency BNA said.

Half a million people taken Sinopharm vaccine

In mid-October, China National Biotec Group, part of Sinopharm, which has two vaccines in development, said about 480,000 people had taken the jab to date. A further 93,000-plus had applied to be inoculated.

The results of the Phase-3 trial have not been independently reviewed in a published article yet, but a study in Lancet Infectious Diseases last month showed strong results from Phase 1 and 2, including in people older than 60.

Sinopharm's Phase-1 and 2 trials were carried out in China between 29 April and 30 July and involved more than 600 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 80.

In those two phases, the Lancet article said, the vaccine triggered antibodies that block the virus from infecting cells in all volunteers within 42 days.

Those aged 60 and over were slower to respond and produced fewer antibodies.

Younger participants detected antibodies within 28 days and the vaccine was tolerated well at all doses, according to the study.