The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has initiated clinical trials of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for Covid-19 as the number of cases surge in the country.

Sputnik V was developed by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

The Phase III trials, which were announced last October, will enrol up to 500 participants in the initial stage, Reuters reported.

Healthy adults of various nationalities living in Abu Dhabi, who are neither previously infected with Covid-19 nor have been part of any Covid-19 vaccination trial, will be inoculated in these trials.

The participants will receive two doses of the vaccine, which will be administered 20 days apart, at a hospital in Abu Dhabi.

They will be followed up through regular visits and teleconsultations for 180 days after the treatment.

Data from the first two phases of the trial had shown that the subjects receiving Sputnik V vaccine had a stable humoral as well as cellular immune response and no serious adverse events were noted.

Separately, the UAE is carrying out Phase III trials of a vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).

As per the UAE health ministry, the vaccine is authorised in the country and is available for free on a priority basis to more vulnerable people.

Last month, the emirate of Dubai initiated vaccinating individuals with Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine.
As of 5 January, 826,301 vaccines had been administered to the people.

Furthermore, the UAE intends to inoculate over 50% of the population in the first quarter of this year.

In July last year, Sinopharm initiated a Phase III clinical trial to assess its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Abu Dhabi, UAE.