The inactivated vaccine does not cause infection, but triggers an immune response producing antibodies to fight the virus, revealed Lt. Col. Manaf Al Qahtani, Infectious Disease Consultant & Microbiologist at the BDF Hospital and member of the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19) at a press conference yesterday.
“The effectiveness of the produced antibodies will then be assessed as a measure of the success of the vaccine. The trial follows the successful completion of the first two phases in China, which have reported good success rates” Dr Manaf emphasized.
The ministry revealed that the trial will enlist up to 6000 volunteers, over the age of 18, and volunteers will have to undergo a health assessment before enlisting, as per the health requirements set by the approved protocols.
Abu Dhabi healthcare company G42 said it sought volunteers in Bahrain, following the opening of volunteer centres in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. In total, 15,000 volunteers are sought for the Sinopharm trial, which began in mid-July.
Phase III trials involve the testing of the potential vaccine on large numbers of people to determine if it is effective.
The inactivated vaccine is pre-qualified by the World Health Organization and volunteers can register through the National Volunteer Platform.
The third phase of the vaccine’s clinical trial, conducted in partnership with the China-based pharmaceutical company, Sinopharm, has been approved by the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA).
It will involve administering the inactive vaccine to the selected volunteers, to study the effectiveness of antibody production and the acquired protection against the virus. The subjects that will take part in the trial will be constantly followed-up for over 12 months.