• By The Financial District


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said that it approved a Chinese coronavirus vaccine that is being tested in the country after preliminary data showed that it was 86 percent effective, Sui-Lee Wee reported for the New York Times.

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention said it reviewed an interim analysis by Sinopharm, a Chinese state-owned vaccine maker, of data from late-stage clinical trials that showed its vaccine was 86 percent effective in preventing infection from COVID-19.

Sinopharm’s analysis showed the vaccine was 100 percent effective in preventing moderate and severe cases of the disease and that there were no serious safety concerns, the government said. It did not say if it conducted an independent analysis of the raw data.

But the data represents a political and scientific win for China, which has three other vaccine candidates in late-stage trials. Like the United States, China’s Food and Drug Administration has said a vaccine should be at minimum 50 percent effective before they grant approval, a benchmark also recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). “The announcement is a significant vote of confidence by the U.A.E.’s health authorities in the safety and efficacy of this vaccine,” the ministry said in a statement on its website. A spokeswoman for Sinopharm hung up the phone when contacted for comment.