With the UAE having one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world, the nation is now set to launch its very own vaccine production line.

It was announced by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi of the new joint project between the countries entitled ‘Life Sciences and Vaccine Manufacturing in the UAE’ which will be led by Abu Dhabi-based Group 42 in conjunction with Chinese drugmaker Sinopharm.

“The UAE and China today inaugurated a new chapter in their historic and distinguished relations, under the title ‘Strategic Partnership for Humanity’,” Sheikh Abdullah said of the venture.

“Today we celebrate the significant milestones achieved by our strategic partnership across all levels. We are continuing the efforts that we initiated at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.”

He added, “A partnership that sets an example to be emulated for collaboration between friendly nations in times of crises. The joint project is an added value to the international efforts being made in the face of the Covid-19 crisis which has been taking a toll on everyday lives across the world.”

While Sinopharm has been in use in the UAE since last year, the vaccine produced in the UAE will be called Hayat-Vax, with Hayat meaning “life” in Arabic.

The joint venture showcases the UAE’s commitment to vaccinate its entire eligible population, with the nation completing its first milestone having vaccinated half of the population by March 2021.

Last week, it was confirmed by Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, that as of Saturday 56.59 per cent of the eligible population had been vaccinated against COVID-19, while 72.89 per cent of elderly citizens and residents and those with chronic diseases had been inoculated against the disease.

At present, there are four COVID-19 vaccines available in the UAE.

The first vaccine to be approved in the UAE was the Sinophram vaccine, followed by the Pfizer vaccine being permitted in Dubai towards the end of last year.

In January, Russia’s Sputnik V was approved for emergency use. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use in Dubai last month.

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