DUBAI — An experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by China’s Sinopharm has 86% efficacy against the virus, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) health ministry said on Wednesday, citing an interim analysis of a human trial underway there.

The Gulf Arab state has been conducting Phase 3 clinical trials of the vaccine since July and in September approved its emergency use for certain groups.

The analysis also shows “99% seroconversion rate of neutralizing antibody and 100% effectiveness in preventing moderate and severe cases of the disease,” the ministry said in a statement carried by the state news agency.

It also said it had registered the vaccine, without elaborating.

The vaccine, which uses an inactivated virus, unable to replicate human cells, to trigger immune responses, requires two doses, past trial data has showed.

The UAE trial is a partnership between Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG), Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company Group 42 (G42) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Health.

Sinopharm and G42 have also expanded the trial to Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain.

Abu Dhabi, the country’s capital, this week said it was seeking volunteers to take part in clinical trials of Russia’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine, known as Sputnik V.

The UAE, with a population of around 9 million, has recorded 178,837 infections and 596 deaths from the disease. — Reuters