The United Arab Emirates’ Minister of Health and Prevention Abdul Rahman al-Owais has taken the country’s first COVID-19 vaccine dose days after authorities approved it for emergency use for frontline health workers, the official WAM news agency reported on Saturday.

Al-Owais said the UAE aims to provide all safety means for the “heroes” working on the front lines and to protect them from any dangers they may face dur to the nature of their work in battling the coronavirus outbreak, according to the news agency.

The vaccine is “fully and completely compatible with laws and regulations,” the minister said during a televised press conference on Monday. He also said the vaccine is effective and safe and has resulted in a “strong response” by generating antibodies in trial volunteers.

COVID-19 vaccine trial

A total of 31,000 volunteers of 125 nationalities participated in the clinical trials held in the UAE, a government official said during the press conference.

Doctor Nawal al-Kaabi said initial results of the ongoing trial are “encouraging” and only minor side effects were detected in volunteers who developed antibodies.

“No serious side effects that require immediate medical treatment were recorded,” she added.

Al-Kaabi also said the vaccine did not cause any complications on 1,000 volunteers who have pre-existing conditions.

Health authorities have followed quality control procedures and safety measures to ensure the efficacy of the vaccine, according to al-Kaabi.