The Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced this Monday that it has started the third phase of clinical trials of two coronavirus vaccines that it is researching in collaboration with China, a process for which they have more than 15,000 volunteers.
“We have more than 15,000 volunteers to carry out the tests and we will guarantee the best scientific standards for medical studies, and if the safety and efficacy of the vaccine is proven during this phase, the test will be considered successful,” Emirati Minister of Health Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais said in a press conference.
Al Owais also pledged to ensure the safety of the group of volunteers who will test the two vaccines, both in their third phase of testing by the Chinese state pharmaceutical company Sinopharm and the Emirati artificial intelligence company Group 42.
China had already announced that it was testing in the Emirates a vaccine jointly developed by the Wuhan Institutes of Biological Products and of Virology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
A month ago, the Wuhan Biological Products Institute, affiliated with Sinopharm, announced that the vaccine had not shown any serious side effects in the first two phases, and assured that it is the first candidate to be safe and have favorable immunogenicity―capacity to provoke a reaction in the immune system.
Although in phase 2 the possible vaccine is administered to people who respond to the average profile of the final recipient of the remedy to assess its efficacy and safety, in the third phase it requires the participation of thousands of volunteers.
According to the latest official data, the UAE has so far recorded more than 55,000 coronavirus cases and 334 deaths, although in recent weeks it has gradually lifted the restrictions imposed to mitigate the spread of the virus.