The United Arab Emirates on Monday granted emergency approval for use of a coronavirus vaccine, six weeks after human trials in the Gulf Arab state started.
A phase III trial of a COVID-19 inactivated vaccine developed by Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopham began in the UAE in July and is yet to be completed.
"The vaccine will be available to our first line of defense heroes who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus," said the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority in a tweet.
The vaccine will be available to our first line of defense heroes who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus, in order to protect them from any dangers and provide safety precautions.#CommitToWin— NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) September 14, 2020
The announcement comes amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases in the UAE, which reported 1,007 cases on Saturday, its highest since the start of the pandemic. There were 777 new cases on Monday.
Emergency use of the vaccine, which is still being tested, was granted after set criteria and after it had been tested on 31,000 volunteers, it said.
Mild and expected side effects occurred but there have been no severe side effects, the agency said without specifying. It added a thousand people suffering from chronic diseases who took part saw no complications.