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Each child will participate with the full consent of their parents and will be closely supervised.
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) has initiated the Sinopharm “immune bridge study” for children between the ages of three and 17.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Health will implement all applicable medical protocols “in accordance with the highest international standards and practices.”
The UAE is the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to conduct a vaccine efficacy study for this age group.
Preliminary findings from the study will be announced when they become available and will support the planning process for a safe return to school.
Other vaccine producing countries such as China, the United States, the United Kingdom and India have also begun conducting clinical trials for this group in the past few months.
The study is aimed at monitoring the immune response to the vaccine in 900 children of different nationalities. This will help prepare the authorities to vaccinate “children in the near future.”
Each child will participate with the full consent of their parents and will be closely monitored, and their safety will be the most important task of the research. Parents and children will receive detailed information and support at every stage of the process.
Dr Naval Al Kaabi, chair of the National Covid-19 Clinical Governance Committee, who is leading the study, said: “Children are the cornerstone of every society and the future of every nation. As more and more people get vaccinated in the UAE, we want to make sure our children can get the vaccine safely.
“This is why, when we developed the Sinopharm immune bridge study, we focused on caring for our young volunteers all the way. We want both children and parents to understand every stage of the process, and also to know that we will be with them, supporting them, answering any questions they may have, at any time. “
The study is being conducted as viral mutations around the world have led to an increase in positive cases, including among children, and the severity of their symptoms. This includes transmission of the virus by children, especially people at risk.
Vaccinating children will protect them and keep others healthy, as well as increase the herd immunity needed to contain the spread of the virus. This is in line with the UAE’s long-term recovery plan, which is based on vaccination of 100% of the target groups by the end of 2021.
Dr Ahmed Dimas Alsuwaidi, Associate Professor at the Department of Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases and Head of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of the United Arab Emirates, said: “With vaccines now available to protect against Covid-19, we are much closer to ending the pandemic.
“Research has shown that Covid-19 vaccines are extremely effective and safe. In addition, for generations, children have been safely vaccinated against a variety of diseases and viruses. The Sinopharm vaccine is similar in concept to all of these vaccines, and we look forward to seeing the results of this study and its effectiveness in children. ”
This study followed the success of the UAE in conducting clinical trials of several vaccines. Trials have led to confirmation of the effectiveness of vaccines in reducing infection and alleviating symptoms in people of different nationalities.
This then led to the official registration and licensing of these vaccines, which were used to vaccinate citizens and residents of the country. As of May 2021, the UAE ranks first in the world in terms of vaccination rates against Covid-19: 137 doses per 100 people.
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