UAE to Offer Third Dose of Chinese Vaccine Amid Efficacy Concerns | News on the coronavirus pandemic
The United Arab Emirates have administered third doses to a “ small number ” of people who have not developed antibodies to the coronavirus after the first two injections of Sinopharm, The National newspaper reported.
The UAE plans to offer a third injection of Sinopharm to people who have already received two doses, amid concerns over the effectiveness of the vaccine which has been a cornerstone of the country’s rapid inoculation program.
âAn additional supportive dose of Sinopharm is now available for people who have already received the vaccine and have now completed more than six months since the second dose,â said the UAE National Crisis and Disaster Management Authority .
Chinese group Sinopharm Group Co. won World Health Organization support for its vaccine this month, but there are questions about how the vaccine, while protecting individuals against the development of Covid -19 serious, could help prevent the virus from spreading and infecting more people.
The UAE administered third doses to a “small number” of people who did not develop antibodies after the first two injections of Sinopharm, The National newspaper reported in March. Sinopharm’s effectiveness in preventing symptomatic and hospitalized illnesses has been estimated at 79% across all age groups, the WHO said.
Other vaccine makers are also in the race to develop booster shots. It’s not yet clear when or if these will be needed, or who will get them if they are, but companies are preparing for a scenario where the virus continues to mutate and periodic booster shots may be needed.
Peng Xiao, managing director of G42, the company that makes the locally shot Sinopharm in the United Arab Emirates, told Bloomberg in March that the company was “testing whether a third shot can help protect against the new mutations we are seeing. around us”.
The UAE has one of the fastest vaccine deployments in the world, delivering more than 11.5 million doses to its population of around 10 million. Infections have fallen more than 65% since their peak in January, and the country reported the smallest increase in cases this year on Monday.
The vaccines from Pfizer Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc are approved for use, although the UAE’s inoculation program relies on Sinopharm, which is produced locally.
The Sinopharm vaccine accounts for around 60% of the doses given in Seychelles, which has vaccinated more of its population than any other country in the world, but which has yet to reinstate some measures related to the virus as cases increase.
The increase in the number of cases has raised concerns about effectiveness. Seychelles also uses the AstraZeneca vaccine.