The United Arab Emirates will commence manufacturing the Sinopharm vaccine under licence from the Chinese drugmaker later this year.
Besides local manufacturing, the plan to achieve herd immunity by later this year, with 70 per cent of the UAE population inoculated is also anticipated. A probe into if the vaccine is suitable for children, a further study of new strains and the ability of the incumbent vaccine to fight them.
State-backed vaccine developer China National Biotec Group (CNBG) said one of its shots is effective in preventing Covid-19 in 79.3 per cent of people.
The efficacy rate for the vaccine — one of two developed by CNBG — meets the minimum standard of 50 per cent set by US regulators for emergency authorisation of Covid vaccines. However, vaccines using cutting-edge messenger RNA technology from Moderna and Pfizer have produced far better results, reducing symptomatic Covid cases by well over 90 per cent in giant trials.