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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The United Arab Emirates said Wednesday that the coronavirus vaccine developed by China's state-owned Sinopharm appears to be safe and 86% effective, according to an interim analysis of the company's Phase III trials.

Why it matters: It's the first public release of information about one of the main Chinese-developed COVID-19 vaccines, which was tested in the UAE in a trial involving 31,000 volunteers from 125 countries that began in September.

  • The Emirati statement contained few details, only noting that the announcement is "a significant vote of confidence by the UAE’s health authorities in the safety and efficacy of this vaccine."
  • The vaccine has already been granted an emergency use authorization in the UAE, which has consistently been reporting over 1,000 new cases per day since the start of November. Over 500 deaths have been reported in total.

The big picture: There's a lot at stake for China, which has invested heavily in scientific research and development over the past two decades and is aiming to become a scientific powerhouse on the global stage.

  • The Chinese government was heavily criticized during the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan for a lack of health transparency, which can affect the perception of science at home and abroad — including in the vaccine race.
  • Of the more than 200 COVID-19 vaccines in development around the world, 20 involve teams in China, per the Milken Institute.

Go deeper: China's high-stakes vaccine moment

Go deeper

Updated Jan 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Florida police arrest data scientist who challenged state on COVID-19 dashboard

Florida's COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard displayed on a computer screen. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Rebekah Jones, a former Florida health department data scientist who says she was wrongly fired last year, has been charged with one count of offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Driving the news: Jones turned herself in Sunday night after a warrant was issued for her arrest. Authorities raided her home last month, causing outcry online after she tweeted a video of the incident.

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