UAE Team Emirates is slated to get the COVID-19 vaccine in early January 2021, prior to a training camp in Abu Dhabi.
The squad will be among the first of any professional sporting organizations to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Sinopharm vaccine phase III trials were recently concluded in the United Arab Emirates and that nearly 100 riders and support staff will be queued up to receive the inoculation.
The Sinopharm vaccination has already been administered to more than a million people worldwide.
“We’re fortunate to be considered a relatively high priority team in terms of the UAE,” Jeroen Swart, the team’s chief doctor, told the Journal.
Sinopharm is a Chinese-based pharmaceutical company. According to the journal Nature, Arab nations were among the first to approve the vaccine, which has been proven to be 86 percent effective, despite a lack of publicly available data. Like the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, the Sinopharm vaccine is administered in two parts, but just 14 days apart, whereas the other vaccinations require a waiting period of 28 days and 21 days, respectively.
Stewart conveyed that he had no reason to doubt the efficacy of the vaccine, which will be encouraged for all riders and staff.
“We have already coordinated and planned it all with the medical staff. We are ready when the vaccine is validated and approved by the certified authorities,” team owner Mauro Gianetti said. “Incidentally, the vaccination is not imposed, it is a personal choice.”
Gianetti was vaccinated in early December as a part of a volunteer clinical trials group.
The United Arab Emirates was one of the first nations to shut down professional racing in February 2020, when the UAE Tour was halted on stage 6.