By Nikhil Pereira
Al Qarayn Health Centre in Sharjah has welcomed residents from in and around the emirate to join hands in the race to find a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine
A total of 500 volunteers have participated in the first Covid-19 clinical vaccine trials at the Al Qarayn Health Centre in Sharjah.
The centre, the first outside capital Abu Dhabi, received the high turnout just three days after opening.
The centre joins Abu Dhabi in taking part in the world's first Phase III clinical trials of an inactivated vaccine. The trials are being managed by G42 Healthcare in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, and will play a central role in facilitating procedures for registering volunteers and conducting necessary tests.
No side effects have been reported so far among the volunteers, who are of various nationalities, according to Dr Nour Al Muhairi, head of medical services, hospital department of the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
Al Muhairi said volunteers have to be free of any chronic diseases and immunodeficiency. Pregnant women can't receive the experimental shots either, state news agency WAM reported.
The centre is open for 12 hours daily starting from 8 am in the morning, and has the capacity to screen in excess of 500 volunteers a day.
Dr Omar Al Hammadi, the official spokesman for the UAE Government, said that the UAE is a global pioneer in starting research and studies aimed at developing a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19.