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Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

UAE says Sinopharm vaccine has 86% efficacy against COVID-19

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Woman holds vials labelled "COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" over dry ice in this illustration taken, December 5, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

DUBAI, Dec 9 (Reuters) - An experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by China's Sinopharm has 86% efficacy against the virus, the United Arab Emirates health ministry said on Wednesday, citing an interim analysis of a human trial underway there.

The Gulf Arab state in July started Phase 3 clinical trials of the vaccine, developed by Beijing Institute of Biological Product, a unit of Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG). In September, the UAE approved its emergency use for certain groups.

The analysis also shows "99% seroconversion rate of neutralizing antibody and 100% effectiveness in preventing moderate and severe cases of the disease", the ministry said in a statement carried by the state news agency.

"The analysis shows no serious safety concerns," it said.

It also said it had officially registered the vaccine, without elaborating, and that 31,000 volunteers across 125 nationalities participated in the UAE trial.

It did not say what side effects or illnesses participants experienced or how many volunteers were given the vaccine and how many received a placebo.

CNBG could not be immediately reached for comment.

The vaccine, which uses an inactivated virus unable to replicate human cells to trigger immune responses, requires two doses, past trial data has showed.

The UAE trial is a partnership between Sinopharm's CNBG, Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence company Group 42 (G42) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Health.

Sinopharm and G42 have also expanded the trial to Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain.

Abu Dhabi, the UAE's capital, this week said it was seeking volunteers to take part in clinical trials of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine, known as Sputnik V. read more

The UAE, with a population of around 9 million, has recorded 178,837 infections and 596 deaths from the disease.

Writing by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Sam Holmes and Lincoln Feast

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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