A new factory in Abu Dhabi will start manufacturing a Covid-19 vaccine from Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm later this year under a joint venture between Sinopharm and Abu Dhabi-based technology company Group 42 (G42).
The project is an expansion of Chinese diplomacy in the Gulf region and helps the United Arab Emirates’ quest to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbon production. The plant, which is being built in the Khalifa Industrial Zone of Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), will have a production capacity of 200 million doses a year with three filling lines and five automated packaging lines. The vaccine will be called Hayat-Vax when manufactured in the he UAE, but is the same inactivated vaccine from the Beijing Institute of Biological Product (BiBP), a unit of Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG), that the UAE approved for general use in December.
The first vaccine approved for emergency use within the UAE was the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine. The UAE became was the first country in the world to approve the vaccine on December 9, 2020 after initiating its trial in the country on June 23, 2020.