The announcement follows Pfizer and Moderna who both showed their vaccines to be over 90% efficacious.
In a recent announcement, The United Arab Emirates said that it had approved a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine produced by China. The vaccine was being tested in the UAE after preliminary data had showed that it was 86% effective. The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) stated that after reviewing the interim analysis of the phase III trials, they were registering the vaccine for general use.
Sinopharm, who created the vaccine in collaboration with the Beijing Institute of Biological Product’s, demonstrated that their inactivated COVID-19 vaccine was found to have an 86% efficacy rate, as well as a 99% seroconversion rate of neutralizing antibody and was 100% effective in preventing moderate and severe cases. Additionally, the analysis of the trial data showed that there were no serious safety concerns associated with the vaccine.
The Phase 3 trials for the vaccine were conducted in several countries around the world. Along with the UAE, there were nearly 31,000 participants spanning 125 nationalities. The vaccine also has some key differences from other leading ones, mainly that it can be stored in normal refrigeration, unlike Pfizer’s who requires to be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius.
Back in September, the UAE had stated that they were granting the Sinopharm vaccine an emergency use authorization (EUA) for its frontline workers. With the cases of COVID-19 beginning to surge in recent months in the UAE, from around a few hundred a day in August to 1,200 a day in November, this announcement could potentially be of great significance.
“The EUA vaccination program has effectively safeguarded the UAE frontline workers,” the Ministry wrote. “MOHAP's official registration of Beijing Institute of Biological Product’s inactivated COVID-19 vaccine leads the way to comprehensively protecting the population and responsibly opening the economy.”