• Melo Acuna

Filipinos join Sinopharm's Phase III trial in Abu Dhabi

Filipinos took part in Phase III trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs today said Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Hjayceelyn M. Quintana acknowledged and expressed appreciation to the hundreds of Filipino nurses and volunteers who participated in the Phase II trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. She visited a Group 42 (G42) Healthcare station at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC).

In a statement released today, the DFA said Dr. Waleed Zaher, Chief Research Officer for Group 42, accompanied Ambassador Quintana to a walk-through of the trial process, from registration to actual vaccination. The ADNEC trial site is said to be the biggest of its kind worldwide. From July 16, the potential vaccine has been given to over 15,000 people of different nationalities, including Filipino volunteers.

Among the volunteers were Neil Bie, a reporter from the UAE-based The Filipino Times. He said his prime motivation for volunteering was to express his gratitude to the UAE for the attention given all foreign nationals during the pandemic the same was it treats its own citizens.

Dr. Zaher introduced the Filipino nurses working at the site to Ambassador Quintana and expressed UAE’s appreciation for the role they play in the mission. The Philippine ambassador said she takes pride of the Filipinos’ participation as medical front line workers involved in the COVID-19 vaccine trial as it will benefit humanity.

“There is a core Filipino value called “pakikipagkapwa” or one care for his or her fellowmen,” she said. G42 has 181 Filipino front liners (180 nurses and a doctor) involved in the COVID-19 vaccine trials.

The UAR is among the first countries undertaking Phase III Trial for a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine being tested in the UAE is one that is developed by Chinese company Sinopharm. (Melo M. Acuña)

Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn M. Quintana being given a briefing by Dr. Waleed Zaher, chief research officer for Group 42 at Abu Dhabi. (Photos from The Filipino Times/Department of Foreign Affairs)


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