DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates will offer China’s Sinopharm vaccine to Chinese nationals visiting the regional tourism and business hub, the first non-residents to be eligible for the country’s vaccination campaign against COVID-19.
Chinese nationals over the age of 16 holding a short-term visa can receive two doses of Sinopharm in Dubai, the state news agency WAM said earlier this week, under an agreement between the UAE and China to launch a regional vaccination site.
The UAE led Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine produced by China’s state-owned drugmaker Sinopharm and has started manufacturing it under a joint venture between Sinopharm and Abu Dhabi-based technology company Group 42.
The Gulf Arab state, a country of some 9 million people, has vaccinated about 73% of its eligible population, authorities have said.
It recorded 1,512 new COVID-19 infections on Monday to take its total to 557,610 cases and 1,654 deaths.
The UAE, which is offering four vaccines, said this month it would start offering a booster shot of Sinopharm.
(Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)