UAE Approves Russia’s Sputnik Covid-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use

The United Arab Emirates approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use on Thursday, amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the Gulf nation.

“Study results have demonstrated the effectiveness of the vaccine in triggering a strong antibody response against the virus, its safety for use, and its compliance with international safety and effectiveness standards,” state-run WAM News Agency reported.

The approval for the Russian vaccine comes as the country reported a record 3,529 cases on Thursday, taking the total to 267,258. Daily infections have tripled since November, forcing Dubai to introduce curbs on hotels and hospitals.

The UAE has already approved shots developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, as well as China’s Sinopharm, and has since rolled out an aggressive vaccination campaign. The nation’s capital Abu Dhabi had started trials on the Russian shot last month.

So far, almost 2.17 million doses have been administered and the UAE has the second-highest per-capita inoculation rate in the world after Israel. The government aims to cover 50% of its population of about 10 million by April.

Earlier, Hungary became the first European Union nation to approve the Russian vaccine.

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