UAE News

5% of global population has been vaccinated against COVID-19 with 400 million vaccine doses

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Audio system at a panel dialogue on the World Immunisation and Logistics Summit. Picture Credit score: Screengrab

Abu Dhabi: Greater than 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered the world over to this point, vaccinating about 5 per cent of the worldwide inhabitants.

However far larger efforts are wanted to make sure that vaccination extends to the required 60 per cent of world inhabitants, prime worldwide specialists stated at a vaccine entry summit led by Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

A logistics hub like Abu Dhabi can play a important position in supporting vaccine manufacturing and supply, stated Dr Robert Hatchett, chief government officer on the vaccine analysis basis, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Improvements (CEPI).

Early efforts

“Abu Dhabi is literally the centre of the world, and it … understands, as well as any other community, how interconnected the world is. The speed of the UAE response to the unfolding of the pandemic reflects its understanding of the vulnerability of the world to the pandemic. As we go forward, the world will learn lessons from it, and from countries like South Korea, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and China. These are the countries that were willing to jump in early and secure vaccines even before we knew which vaccines would be successful, and are now among the leaders in vaccine roll-out to their populations,” Hatchett stated.

He was talking on the primary day of the World Immunisation and Logistics Summit, a two-day convention convened by the Hope Consortium to debate vaccine entry and supply the world over.

Vaccination efforts

The world presently has 9 completely different vaccines, together with Sinopharm, Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca and Sputnik. 4 are presently freely accessible within the UAE, with the nation having to this point administered greater than eight million doses to vaccinate greater than half of its eligible grownup inhabitants. “If we can end the acute phase of the pandemic by protecting the most vulnerable, the virus may continue to circulate, but we can take away the economics and cost of human life out of the pandemic, and we hope to do that by the end of this year,” Hatchett stated.

The Hope Consortium, an Abu Dhabi-led public-private partnership, itself hopes to distribute 18 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses by way of the UAE capital. Led by Abu Dhabi’s well being regulator, the Division of Well being (DoH), and boasting the help of Abu Dhabi Ports, Etihad Airways’ cargo division — Etihad Cargo, procurement supplier Rafed, container options supplier SkyCell and digital options supplier, Maqta Gateway, the Consortium goals to help the equitable international distribution of vaccines.

Want for pace

Abdullah Al Hamed, DoH chairman, pressured that any response to a pandemic requires pace and rapidity. “With this pandemic, we have seen a lot of mistakes in the early stages, and we have seen hesitation in taking decisions about it being a pandemic. This has allowed for the global outbreak. Politics have also played a big role in diverting our focus instead of focusing on health issues,” Al Hamed stated.

UAE vaccine manufacturing

Abu Dhabi will itself quickly start producing COVID-19 vaccines. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Overseas Affairs and Worldwide Cooperation, and Chinese language Overseas Minister, Wang Yi, introduced on Sunday the brand new Life Sciences and Vaccine Manufacturing within the UAE initiative for the joint manufacturing of the Sinopharm inactivated vaccine. Abu Dhabi’s vaccine product will probably be referred to as Hayat-Vax, and it is going to be the identical Sinopharm vaccine that underwent Section III trials within the nation from July 2020 onwards.
Hayat means ‘life’ in Arabic, and the manufacturing of this vaccine within the UAE will probably be dealt with by G42, the Abu Dhabi-based know-how firm that facilitated the Sinopharm vaccine trials within the Gulf. Actually, manugfacturing has already begun at Ras Al Khaimah-based prescription drugs producer, Julphar. The power can initially produce two million doses a month.
A purpose-built analysis and improvement hub can even be arrange at Abu Dhabi’s KIZAD free zone this yr, with an annual vaccine manufacturing capability of 200 million vaccine doses.

“Approving vaccines is the next challenge, but some countries are only approving their own, and this is not the right thing at this moment. [The world cannot have enough vaccines produced] for the next six to seven years, no matter where the vaccines are produced,” he added.

Provide ecosystem

In response to Al Hamed, solely worldwide cooperation and vaccine supply can guarantee the top of the pandemic.

To that finish, the Hope Consortium has arrange a large 19,000-square metre chilly storage facility that may maintain 180 million vaccine doses at a time, and safely retailer them at temperatures between -80 levels Celsius and eight levels Celsius. It goals to supply vaccines at their level of manufacture, and distribute the doses safely until the final mile. “Abu Dhabi has been a great leader because it has faced problems head-on from the beginning. It has also viewed global health as a global public good rather a matter for a nationalist agenda. It also has a unique position as a logistics hub at the centre of Africa, Asia and the Middle East,” stated Professor Jose Manuel Barroso, board chair for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which works to enhance entry to vaccines around the globe.

The 2-day summit will see worldwide specialists talk about challenges in vaccine manufacture and last-mile supply because the world ramps up vaccine manufacturing.

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