August 11, 2021 | 16:40 GST
The vaccine was approved for use in children aged 3 to 17 after a trial involving 900 young people.
Officials set out the initial results of Abu Dhabi-based studies at a televised briefing on Tuesday evening.
There were no negative side effects among children who received the vaccine, other than minor fever and arm pain, which fades very quickly,” she said of the trial.Noura Al Ghaithi, a senior official at the emirate’s public hospital operator, Seha
Coronavirus Vaccine trials on young children led to more than 90 percent of them generating antibodies. Medics recorded only minor side effects after two doses of the Chinese-made inactivated vaccine were administered.
The DoH referred to the participating children and their families as ‘Heroes’ in the UAE’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sinopharm Vaccine is an inactivated vaccine that includes two doses delivered about four weeks apart. It has been developed by China National Biotec Group (Sinopharm) Beijing Institute of Biological Products, a research wing of the nationally-owned pharmaceutical group in China. China has also approved the emergency use of the Sinovac Vaccine for children over 3 years of age. Both the Sinopharm and Sinovac Vaccines have been listed by the World Health Organization for emergency use in adults.
Research so far has shown that COVID-19 vaccines are remarkably effective and safe. In addition, children have been safely receiving vaccines for multiple diseases and viruses for generations. The Sinopharm vaccine is similar in concept to all of these vaccines,” Dr. Ahmed Alsuwaidi, associate professor of Paediatrics and Infectious Diseases, and chair of the Department of Paediatrics, at the United Arab Emirates University, had said at the launch of the Sinopharm bridge study for children. The study enrolled, with full parental consent, a total of 900 children aged between 3-17 years old. It was launched in June (2021), and was the first project in the Middle East and North Africa region designed to study young children’s immune response against COVID-19. Children of different nationalities were enrolled and administered Sinopharm Vaccine, and closely monitored over the following weeks.
The roll-out of the vaccine for this age group in the UAE is likely to support a safer return to school for many children in September, especially as COVID-19 variants increase infection rates worldwide. The UAE had provided Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to only children aged 12 years and older, and this will be the first chance for residents to vaccinate younger children.
The UAE has so far administered more than 15.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with more than 64 percent of the population being fully immunized. May, the UAE announced it would offer a booster shot to recipients of the Sinopharm vaccine six months after their initial two-dose regimen, amid concerns about an insufficient antibody response and questions over the vaccine’s efficacy.