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UAE initiates Sinopharm vaccine study for children aged 3-17

Gulfbusiness.com logo Gulfbusiness.com 2 days ago Motivate Freelance
a little girl sitting on a table: Children Mask © Motivate Publishing Children Mask

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has announced that it has initiated a Sinopharm immune bridge study for children aged 3 to 17.

The UAE is the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to conduct a study of the vaccine’s effectiveness for this age group.

The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi has approved the study to be conducted, under the supervision of the health ministry.

The study aims to monitor the immune response to the vaccine in 900 children of different nationalities.

Each child will participate with the full consent of their parents and be closely monitored. Parents and children will be given details and support at every step of the process, Abu Dhabi Media Office reported.

Dr Nawal Al Kaabi, chairwoman of the National Covid-19 Clinical Management Committee, who is leading the study, said: “As more and more people are vaccinated in the UAE, we want to make sure that our children are able to receive the vaccine safely. This is why when we designed the Sinopharm immune bridge study we focused on ensuring all care is given to our young volunteers throughout the journey. We want both children and parents to understand every step of the process and also to know that we will be with them, supporting them, answering every question they may have, at any time.”

The study comes as virus mutations globally have led to an increase in the number of positive cases, including among children, and the severity of their symptoms. This includes transmission of the virus by children, particularly to people at risk. Vaccinating children will protect them and those  around them, as well as accelerate herd immunity to curb the spread of the virus, a statement said.

Dr Ahmed Deemas Alsuwaidi associate professor of Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the United Arab Emirates University said: “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 and we look forward to seeing the results of this study and its effectiveness for children.”

The study’s preliminary results will be announced once available, and will support the planning process for the safe return to schools.

Last month, officials from the health ministry approved the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 to 15.

Read: Children between the age of 12-15 in the UAE now eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine

The health ministry confirmed on June 9 that 96,659 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were administered in the preceding 23 hours, raising the total to 13,507,943 doses. 

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