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DoH’s Chairman and Undersecretary volunteer for clinical trials in the search for potential COVID-19 vaccines

16 Jul, 2020: His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), and His Excellency Dr. Jamal Alkaabi, Acting Undersecretary of DoH, joined the volunteers of the clinical trials currently taking place in Abu Dhabi for possible vaccines to cure COVID19. The trials are taking place in a number of public healthcare facilities in the emirate.

This comes in parallel with Phase III of the clinical trials for potential COVID-19 vaccines, developed by the China National Biotec Group (CNBG), and being implemented by a specialised medical team from Abu Dhabi Health Services Company- SEHA, under DoH's supervision.

Al Hamed and Al Kaabi visited Sheikh Khalifa Medical City to receive the vaccination dose, after which they will undergo a monitoring period.  

His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the (DoH), underscored the importance of prioritising the health and safety of the society in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the world. The partnership is a testament to Abu Dhabi's commitment to overcome the pandemic through a global collaborative effort. He noted that the UAE has paved the way for contributing to countries in need of aid, offering a variety of supplies needed across the globe.

Al Hamed added: "Since the beginning of the pandemic, our wise leadership has directed us to ensure the safety of the UAE's community by providing them with the necessary healthcare support. We believe that each individual must be safe and protected; with this in mind, we carry out our responsibilities in the healthcare sector of finding a cure. I believe it is part of my duty to set an example in my community by taking part in the clinical trials, to ensure the safety of the vaccine for individuals impacted by COVID-19. With persistence and determination, the UAE will move forward with its ambitions to find a cure to the virus."

His Excellency pointed out that joining the volunteers in the third stage of clinical trials for potential vaccines against the virus is a small step towards a bigger goal; protecting our community by any means possible.

He continued: "Today, the UAE contributes to finding a vaccine not only for the sake of its residents, but for the sake of all humanity. Our country is our priority, and we must spare no effort, exploring every possibility to ensure its health and well-being."

His Excellency praised the efforts made by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) in participating in the provision of vaccines in the third stage of clinical trials in a number of its healthcare facilities. His Excellency called on all citizens and residents of the UAE to volunteer in these clinical trials, which are expected to make a significant impact in reaching the desired results to prove the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. This will mark a further milestone in the UAE's history of achievements and contributions to the medical field worldwide. 

The UAE Health Authorities have recently issued a permit for up to 15,000 volunteers to take part in the trials.  G42 Healthcare and SEHA are working towards achieving a minimum of 5,000 participants in the first stage of the programme to ensure the robustness of the results.

The Research Ethics Committee (REC) at DoH has previously approved the implementation of clinical trials for these potential vaccines, after fulfilling the conditions and clinical research requirements whilst taking into consideration the safety of the volunteers.

His Excellency Dr. Jamal Alkaabi, Acting Undersecretary of DoH, said: "Our founding father taught us to imbue a sense of philanthropy in our culture and lead the way in good deeds. The UAE continues its global humanitarian efforts in these challenging times."

He added: "Here in the UAE, we are contributing to the development and the support of a potential new vaccine against the virus, and we are proud to be one of the first volunteers to take part in the clinical trials and participate in the goal of finding a solution."

The vaccine already passed Phases I and II of the clinical trials without showing any serious negative reactions, with 100% of all volunteers generating antibodies. 

The world's first Phase III trial is the result of a cooperation partnership between Abu Dhabi based G42 Healthcare, currently at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 in the UAE, and Sinopharm CNBG, the world's sixth largest vaccine manufacturer, ranked 169th on the Fortune Global 500 list of 2018.



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