DUBAI (Reuters) – Abu Dhabi is seeking volunteers to take part in Phase 3 clinical trials of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, known as Sputnik V, in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Two doses of the vaccine will be given to up to 500 initial volunteers, according to the emirate’s media office.
Russia on Saturday began distributing the vaccine to the most exposed groups in the country, the start of the first large-scale vaccination against the disease there.
Russia has developed two COVID-19 vaccines, Sputnik V which is backed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund and another developed by Siberia’s Vector Institute, with final trials for the both yet to be completed.
The UAE is also conducting Phase 3 clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, and has approved emergency use of the vaccine for certain groups.
The UAE, population of around 9 million, has reported 177,577 cases and 594 COVID-19 deaths.
(Writing by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Kim Coghill)